Because life is too short for shit coffee, we like to search out the bike friendly places which are head and shoulders above the usual chains. Such establishments have started springing up all over the home counties, but only the best will feature in this short overview.
THE LOCAL HERO: "G!RO CYCLES"
Esher High Street has been immeasurably improved with the now, four year old, G!RO Cycles. It is a welcoming hub for locals shunning the Costa Coffee opposite (bleurgh) and is of course a coffee stop for the many local clubs, collectives, ride buddies and G!RO's own in-house shop team. To say the place is vibrant and buzzing on peak times, think Saturday and Sunday mornings, is an understatement. These guys don't offer any workshop services, but you can buy a tonne of cool merch and plenty of fresh threads from some interesting, hard-to-get brands. They serve booze and great variety of food, all of which tick a massive box in our opinion. Keep doing what you're doing guys, onto a winner! The G!RO Insta is also off the hook.
THE KENTISH BEHEMOTH: "THE VELO HOUSE"
Located on top of St John's Road in a former NatWest bank, the Velo House offers an environment like no other. We don't think it's amiss to use the word "curated" for everything housed under the roof of the Velo House. The beers on tap are the freshest craft ales, the bikes hanging off the walls are the latest objects of desire and the brands and equipment are definitely the discerning cyclist's choice, thought about carefully and selected with purpose. The award winning Velo House interior is also something else, it is a showcase of talent and design flair of SGS Interiors who occupy the top floor office of the same building. Finally, there's the food. The menu is extensive and well thought out and the cake is aplenty with vegan, gluten free options available. Needless to say the coffee is also spot on and it will always remain a pleasure to visit with the family or on the bike. On ride this is a tricky mid-ride stop. Its so damn warm and comfortable you may not want to leave, so we recommend to start and finish your ride there instead.
Pt II coming soon...