The View Cafe within the Chilterns Gateway Centre is a spacious environment with allotted motorcycle parking and guaranteed delicious, homemade bakes.
When organising trips around the UK, various National Trust sites feature as our rest breaks. The magnificent grounds, castles and abbeys they have to offer are always a treat to investigate, whilst a good cup of coffee and flapjack are always assured. Luckily, the Dunstable Downs and Whipsnade Estate, a National Trust site, is close by for a nice weekend break and although it doesn’t come with an extravagant castle attached, it’s phenomenal views offer far more.
The spacious Cafe, fit with large tables that are spread out, makes bringing in all motorcycle gear easy and comfortable. There is space to spread out helmets, gloves and jackets across seats and there is no need to worry about people knocking them as they walk past. Additionally, on busy days, eagle-eyed staff are always about to clear tables and facilitate any of your needs.
Table service is not offered, but queues aren’t very long and on the rare day that they are, the move quickly and efficiently. As a National Trust site, baked goods are always guaranteed and certainly have my seal of approval. A personal favourite is the sausage roll or the flapjack. Reasonably priced for the decently sized portions, the food is good and what I consider to be, perfect ‘pick-me-up’ fuel in the cold. A variety of hot and cold drinks are also on offer, although the hot chocolate tends to be my ‘go-to’. This is made from water rather than milk, which is a shame, but the marshmallows and cream disguise it rather well. From what I am told, the coffee is descent. The staff are incredibly friendly.
The View Cafe also has motorcycle parking! At the far end on the car park, on the right and under a cover, are about 6 motorcycles bays. Slightly more protected from the elements, this is greatly appreciated.
A final comment: although it is an easily accessible place for a good bite to eat and quick warm up, this is not like other National Trust tea rooms which are delightfully cosy and expose the wonders of their sites within. This is a modern building, that caters for many, is often packed during bank holidays, school holidays and some weekends. Be prepared for a flurry of children and families who often spend their weekends flying kites outside.
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