A FAMILY-owned and award-winning farm café on the edge of Bradford on Avon has been inundated with bookings after being given the seal of approval by Country Life.

The national magazine listed the full English breakfast at Merkins Farm Cafe’s as one of the top seven in the UK, with smoked salmon, scrambled free range eggs or freshly made breakfast pancakes as alternative options.

The café is known locally for its breakfasts, with the hungriest being tempted by the ‘Merkinator’ – it’s large enough to stave off hunger pains for the rest of the day!

The café is owned by Jon and Hayley Painter, who also run the caravan and camping site at Bradford Leigh. Hayley said: “We moved here in the early 2000s and realised we had beautiful views and through we should share them with everyone.

“When we started the camping, we offered cream teas for the campers and then people began asking us for bacon sandwiches in the morning, so we started providing them and it has just grown from there.

“We now have 13 tables and 12 staff and serve delicious cooked breakfasts, lunches, mouth-watering home-made cakes and afternoon teas.”

These days, the café is always busy and Hayley puts the secret down to the warm welcome they give to visitors and their devotion to excellent customer service.

“I come from a financial services background – I used to work for NatWest Bank – so I am passionate about customer service. We talk to them and make sure we go the extra mile to make them feel welcome.

“I am so grateful to our staff and customers – especially our repeat customers. We could not do it without them.”

In addition to its set menu, the Merkins Farm Café has a chef’s home-made specials board, offering home-made dishes and using locally-sourced seasonal produce.

Due to its surroundings, the Merkins Farm Café has taken on a fun camping theme, with Cath Kidston tables, cheerful colours, and even a caravan themed room, named Bertha, which is available for private parties. Not surprisingly, booking is essential.

Last year, the café received a coveted 5-star Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor for the third year running. Now the café is so popular, the couple have stopped taking table bookings for Sundays.

And for those of you just about to pick up the phone to book a table, or even to go on the off chance of getting a seat - please don’t leave your best friend at home. The café is proud to be very dog friendly.

The café’s crew members are also happy to cater for people who are vegetarians and those who require gluten-free options are readily available. Breakfast is served from 9am to 3.15pm each day.