M25, Junction 25; 8 minutes
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
Tucked in a quiet corner of Waltham Abbey, the Gatehouse Café has enviable views over the town’s eponymous church and comes into its own in summer when tables and chairs are set out beneath the trees. Frothy hanging baskets are strung up above the pavement tables, and inside there’s a warmth to the dark grey panelling, wooden floors and pretty sash windows.
The steady stream of regulars is testament to the warm welcome on offer from Aurelia, Sean and their team. Aurelia brings flavours of her native Italy to the cuisine: gnocchi, panini, sundried tomatoes and pesto served alongside full breakfasts, warm quiches and chocolate vegan cake.
Make time to visit the Norman church, gardens and moat next door. This site has been a place of worship since 600 AD and it’s thought to be the final resting place of Saxon King Harold. You can pick up an informative leaflet to guide you round.