M25, Junction 25; 8 mins
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.
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The Extra Mile: Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services is your essential glovebox guide to good food on the move. The guidebook is a great gift for motorists and foodies who prefer to avoid motorway services and boring, big-brand food. Find independent cafes, pubs, local coffee and tea shops and lovely farm shops near motorway junctions and main roads. To improve your journey, support small businesses and discover real local flavours, order your copy today (Glovebox Guides edition refreshed for 2022).