Bradford on Avon canal cafe making waves with customers

Bradford on Avon canal cafe making waves with customers

Alfie and Jan Windsor

Inside the boat

First published in Bradford

The owners of a new floating cafe on the Kennet and Avon Canal are hoping to tempt people from the towpath with their array of homemade treats.

Husband and wife Alfie and Jan Windsor opened The Boat Cafe, situated between Bradford on Avon and Avoncliff, two weeks ago.

They came up with the idea of a floating cafe after seeing their son, Will, work on The Coal Boat for the past three years, delivering fuel to other boats on the canal.

Mr Windsor, 64, said: “We realised there was a gap in the market. People always look into the windows of the boats and we thought it would be nice to have a boat where people could come in and sit down.”

The couple, who have lived in Bradford on Avon since 1972, gutted Will’s old canal boat and after getting planning permission they transformed it into a permanent cafe, serving cakes, sandwiches and drinks to walkers, cyclists and tourists on the canal.

Mr Windsor, a former IT troubleshooter, added: “Business has been very good and we are very pleased with how it has gone. We have had so many customers comment about the cake and people have been surprised by how big the boat is.

“We have already had return customers and people bringing their friends.

“Word has spread. It is not just people coming from Bradford on Avon, they are from Melksham, Trowbridge and people coming out of Bath.”

The 70ft boat seats 18 people inside, two on the deck outside and eight on the canal bank.

It will be open seven days a week, all year round from 9am-5pm, except when it is closed on Christmas Day.

Mr Windsor said: “There are always people walking on the towpath so we are confident the business will be successful. We want people to know this is a permanent mooring and a place they can return to.”

He also said he wanted to encourage small groups to use the space and added: “If people are looking for a small venue, we are happy to accommodate that. Mornings are better, because they are usually quiet.”

To get in touch, contact Mr Windsor by emailing enquiries@theboatcafe.co.uk

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