Village Café / Larder Café

Village Café - Introduction & Volunteering

The Village Cafe opened for the first time on Tuesday 22nd of February 2011. It was created to generate money to donate to the Reading Room to help with maintenance and refurbishment.

We have over 20 volunteers who work in teams of three every 6 weeks, so the duties are not too onerous. It is hard work but we do have fun, so thank you to everybody who helps, cake makers and "table putter uppers" included. Please contact us if you would like to volunteer. You would be very welcome to join us.

Village Café - Opening Hours, Free Internet & Book Swap

The Village Café in the Reading Room (20 Church Street) is normally open on Tuesdays between 10am and midday for refreshments and a chance to catch up with news from other residents and visitors. As at September 2023, prices are: Tea or Coffee £1.50; slice of cake £1.50; children's soft drink with biscuit or savoury £1. (The last price increase was September 2019)

For those requiring internet or mobile phone services while enjoying their refreshments, super-fast broadband internet is available and free (Internet service provided by Tove Valley Broadband).

For those who prefer printed reading material, book swap is available in smaller (committee) room. Click here for more information about Book Swap & DVD Loan facility.

Larder Café - New for 2023

Tea, Coffee and Cakes are now available from 2pm on Fridays, when Helmdon Community Larder is open.

With this café, any profits go towards Helmdon Community Larder hall hire costs.

Village Café News

Price increase - posted August 2023

We're sorry, but from September 1st the price of each main item is increasing to £1.50

We've held back an increase as long as possible but the price of coffee, tea and ingredients has made it impossible to delay any longer.

Thank you for your understanding and please continue to come along each Tuesday and support the café.

Village Café to reopen Tuesday 18th May 2021 - posted 03 May 2021 (updated 24 May 2021)

Café hours will be 10.00 to 12.00 as usual. Social distancing will be in place and face masks need to be worn on entering, leaving and moving around the Reading Rooms.

We look forward to seeing all our customers once again.

Cafe and Post Office during Lockdown 2 - posted 03 November 2020

The cafe will be open Tuesday 3rd November 2020 but will then not reopen until the lockdown has ended.
The Post Office is expected to continue as normal during lockdown.

Village Café to reopen on Tuesday 8th Sept 2020 - posted 24 August 2020

Now that we have clear Government Guidelines for Village Halls and pop-up Cafés we shall be trialing the reopening of the Village Café commencing Tuesday 8th Sept from 10.00 -12.00.

There will be Social Distancing and the requirement to wear a face covering on entering and leaving the Reading Rooms. All customers will be served at their table and names recorded for track and trace.

Following government advice to avoid non-essential contact, the Village Café is suspended until further notice - Posted Tue, 17 March 2020

The Post Office will be open on Tuesdays only between 10.00am & 11.30am.
This will subject to change if further restrictions are put in place.
[Post Office on Thursday afternoon reinstated 02 July 2020]

The Village Café announces a price increase - posted August 2019

The café has been running for 8+ years and this is only the second time we've had to increase prices. The good news is that price of tea and coffee is unchanged.

From September 2019 prices will be:

  • Tea or Coffee - £1
  • Cake - £1
  • Soft drink with Biscuit or Savoury - £1

We think you'll agree that the café still offers great value for money.

Village Café & Post Office Xmas opening - posted 04 December 2018

The Village Café will be closed on Tuesday 18th December due to Xmas Lunch Club.
The Village Café will also be closed on 25th December and 1st January. Café reopens as normal from 8th January 2019.
The Post Office will be open as normal: 18th December; 20th December; 27th December; 3rd January.

Village Café welcomes Jess Gooding from ACRE / The Wellbeing Service - Tues 23rd Oct (10-midday) - posted 16 October 2018

Jess Gooding from the Charity Northampton ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) will be visiting the café on Tuesday 23rd October between 10.00am and 12.00. She is involved in a lottery funded programme called The Wellbeing Service whose aim is to reduce social isolation and loneliness in over 50's in rural communities. The charity is trying to talk to as many people as possible, so we hope that you can join us and meet her and make her welcome.

Book Swap at the Village Café - posted 11 October 2018

The Village Café has introduced a book swap table. Feel free to take a book to read. If you have any book(s) to donate then we'll be pleased to receive it(them) - just paperback novels or similar at the present time. Thank you.

Last Year an Excellent One for the Village Café - posted 29 April 2018

The Village Cafe had another busy year in 2017. This all happens because of the volunteers who give their time so generously and the customers who support week by week.

In 2017 £1900 was donated to the Reading Room to help with the costs of running this vital village resource.

In addition the Easter Raffle raised £210 for the Blood Bikers charity and the Christmas raffle raised £185 for the Air Ambulance. Thank you the Thorpe family who organise the raffles each year.

Come and enjoy a coffee/tea, delicious cake, and a chat soon! The Café is open on Tuesdays at 10a.m. till 12 noon, the same time as the Post office (with it wide range of services) is open. The post Office is also available Thursday afternoons 2 - 4 p.m.

Result of Café Easter Raffle - posted 28 March 2018

The Easter Raffle at the café, now a firm village tradition. raised a splendid £210. The proceeds will be sent to the Dogs Trust in memory of Celia Terrey, who loved her dogs.

Thank you to everyone who contributed the excellent prizes, to those who bought tickets, and to the Thorpe family who organised it.

Café Easter Raffle 2018 - posted 22 March 2018

Due to a mix-up the Café Easter Raffle in aid of a Dog charity (held in memory of Celia Terrey) will now be drawn next Tuesday the 27th of March, and not on the 3rd of April as advertised.

No Café On Tuesday 15 August - posted 12 August 2017

There will be no cafe in operation on Tuesday 15 August. Apologies, but there are repairs being done in the Reading Room. However, the Post Office will be open.

Easter Raffle at The Cafe - posted 11 April 2017

The Easter Raffle at the café raised a splendid £210 and the proceeds will be sent to the Blood Bikers charity. Thank you to everyone who contributed prizes, to those who bought tickets, and to the Thorpe family who organised what is now another Helmdon tradition.

Café Raffle supports The Salvation Army - posted 2016

It is with pleasure that we announce that the Café raffle in aid of The Salvation Army raised £204. Thank you to the Thorpe family for organising it and to everyone for their support.

Village Café Christmas Arrangements - posted 14 December 2016
The Cafe will be closed on Tuesday 20th December because of the preparations for the Tuesday Christmas Lunch, and it will also be closed on Tuesday 27th December (Bank Holiday). It will be open a normal on Tuesday 3rd January 2017

Easter Raffle Raises Excellent Sum - posted 23 March 2016

The Easter Raffle, managed by the Thorpe family, raised £200, with a little help from the café who rounded off this excellent sum.

This money will benefit the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and the Children's Air Ambulance, both of which operate from Coventry airport.

Splendid Donation To The Reading Room - posted 27 January 2016

The Village cafe has had another busy year, which is all due and thanks of course to our volunteers who give their time so generously. Also to our customers who support us week by week.

This past year we have donated £1900 to the Reading Room, to help with the costs of running this vital village resource. We were also able to donate £36 to Dogs For Good. Come and enjoy a coffee/tea and a chat soon!
Lynn Walmsley

Cafe Christmas Opening Times - posted 08 December 2015

The cafe will be closed on Tuesday 15th December (Lunch Club Christmas Dinner). Normal opening for cafe and post office on Tuesday 22nd December & Tuesday 29th December

Excellent Christmas Raffle At The Cafe - posted 18 November 2015

The raffle recently held at The Village Cafe and Lunch Club raised £164 for The Village Cafe donated a further £36 bringing the total donation to a healthy £200. Thank you to all the customers who bought tickets.
Diane Thorpe

Latest Cafe News - posted 09 August 2015

The cafe goes from strength to strength supported by our wonderful customers and dedicated volunteers. Chris and Alan put the tables up and help put down every week which is a huge help and Dianne and Enid check and buy the supplies. We have gradually replaced cafetieres and teapots so they all look the same (makes it easier to match up lids once they are washed). The old teapots have been recycled and were given to Acorns and it is worth remembering that the old tablecloths are still available to be used by other village organisations. They are usually stored on top of the cupboard in the porch.

Easter Raffle At The Cafe - posted 16 April 2015

The Easter Raffle raised £180 and the proceeds were shared between the Horton Hospital Special Care Baby Unit and The Alzheimers Associaton.

Thank you to everyone who contributed prizes, to those who bought tickets and to Diane and Chris Thorpe who organised it.

A Fresh New Look For The Village Cafe - posted 26 February 2015

The Village cafe has used a donation from proceeds of the HYHO Summer Ball to buy new tablecloths.

We would like to say thank you to them for giving us a fresh new look for 2015. Come and join us every Tuesday between 10.00am and 12.00am for cake, coffee and tea, a chat with friends and the added bonus of the Post office.

The old tablecloths are still available for use by any of the village organisations, at the moment they are stored on top of the wardrobe in the porch of the Reading Room. If you need any more information or would like to volunteer to help with the cafe please contact us.

Tuesday Morning Cafe Christmas Opening - posted 11 December 2014

The Café will be closed next Tuesday 16 December as it is the Christmas Lunch. It will also be closed on the 23rd December but will re-open on the 30th.

The café volunteers would like to take this opportunity to wish all our patrons a merry Christmas and a happy New Year and to thank you for your continued support.

Have Your Cake - And Eat It, And Support Reading Room Funds - posted 28 April 2014

Helmdon Cafe continues to go from strength, a very popular weekly fixture in the village diary. We are always there in the Reading Room, every Tuesday, from 10am to noon, and welcome everyone.

The Cafe donates all of its profit to the Reading Room, to help keep this valuable resource open for Helmdon. In 2013 we donated £1700. Of course this is only possible due to our loyal supporters and to the fantastic group of volunteers who actually staff the cafe each week . A huge thank you to all of these people and to the small committee who beaver away behind the scenes!
Lynn Walmsley