Cornwall

Roadside cafe 'Nice Baps' rated Cornwall's top restaurant

cafe Image copyright The Log Box & Nice Baps
Image caption Nice Baps is located in a layby near Wadebridge

A roadside cafe called "Nice Baps" has been rated as the best restaurant in Cornwall on TripAdvisor.

The wooden hut, located in a layby near Wadebridge, is number one out of 2,215 eateries, which include Good Food Guide 2019 winner Nathan Outlaw.

Reviewers say they are drawn by the warm welcome of owners Kevin and Laura Baker as much as the food.

Mr Baker said: "We're giving customers a little bit of what people need these days: Comfort and a friendly face."

He added: "If a family turns up after a long journey, we occupy the kids with magic tricks to give the parents a break.

"Old people come in because they need someone to talk to - it's an escape for them."

Image copyright Laura Baker
Image caption Kevin and Laura Baker at Nice Baps

Mr Baker, 54, was homeless and lived in a transit van for more than seven years before starting the business.

The former builder began selling fruit and vegetables from the back of his van.

Supported by his wife Laura, 34, he then brought in a shipping container, selling kindling at one end and teas and coffees from the other.

TripAdvisor reviews for Nice Baps:

"This hidden gem is a must on a family holiday. The owner couldn't be anymore friendly or helpful and loves a good laugh and a joke and kids love him... it's the most entertaining breakfast you'll ever have."

"This place doesn't just have "Nice Baps" it has the biggest, juiciest, most flavoursome baps I have ever tasted (other food is available!)...If I could afford to drive to Cornwall every day to have breakfast here I most definitely would!...It's the highlight of any road trip!"

"Always a great start to our Cornish trips....it's an experience in itself."

Image copyright Laura Baker
Image caption Reviewers say they are drawn by the warm welcome

The couple, who are parents to Kiya, nine, and Teddy, three, were faced with closure two years ago when the council changed their licensing regulations, but a court case found in their favour.

Their cafe, which boasts David Cameron and the cast of Poldark amongst its customers, was re-vamped earlier this year after its roof was ripped off by Storm Eleanor.

"The insurance didn't pay out. We had to put all our savings into it," Mr Baker said.

"We started from nothing. I'm so proud of my wife and myself for where we've come from. We've fought so hard for this."

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Mr Baker said an international coffee shop chain had offered to buy the couple out, while the owner of a group of pubs in London impressed by the cafe's five-star reviews had asked him to work for them.

But he said no to both.

"This is our baby," said Mrs Baker.

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