M11, Junction 8; 9 minutes
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
When we first met Lucy she was racing off to bid at Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers. We didn't want her to miss out on a long-coveted lot so retreated to the comfort of Folies instead, her cosy log cabin next door.
Here, you can order your sweet or savoury selections from the stylish horse-box, which is surrounded by the plants and pots - vintage and new - of the garden centre. Cakes await beneath cloches, crockery is endearingly mismatched, coffee is roasted locally and wines are from nearby Hazel End Vineyard. If you're in savoury mood, opt for the mozzarella, sundried tomato and homemade pesto panini. Whether you're a 'cash in the attic' fan, art collector or shrub-seeker, there are many reasons to visit: the gift-packed homeware store, auctioneers and Christmas shop (in season) to name but three.
Just 10 minutes from Stansted Airport, Folies is an excellent choice before gathering your purchases (or flight arrivals) and heading home. The heart-stoppingly handsome medieval market town of Saffron Walden is a short hop north.
Buy The Extra Mile Guide
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 (edition 4 published March 2023 and available now).