My father, the nature-documentary-maker turned yoga teacher turned restauranteur, opened a cafe in the small town of Godalming, Surrey, in late 2011 and this little cafe-come-yoga studio has been growing in popularity ever since – it’s located just off the Godalming High Street in Angel Court (near the Boots pharmacy if you’re ever there). It’s not surprising really; they say if you love the work you do, people will enjoy the fruits of your labour that much more, and if Cafe Mila is anything to go by then this surely must be true, since I have never known a man to work so hard nor love it quite so much. You might think I have a biased opinion since the owners are my father Steve and his wife Jane, but quite the contrary, it is not I who has been singing their praises, I have just been listening. The locals who frequent Cafe Mila sing a never ending chorus of praise to the friends and family members they bring in to the cafe for coffee and cake, or to try one of the awesomely healthy lunches and salads, all of which made fresh on the premises each morning. The cakes, thanks to the wonderful chef Jodie (who’s mother is standing in for her at the moment while she is away on maternity) are packed full of amazing fruits and nuts and wholesome goodness; these are definitely not the usual cafe-style treats you might find elsewhere, instead they come bursting at the seams with all the flavour and moist, juicy, deliciousness that a cake should have. I don’t like sponge cakes, I find them plain and pointless, so I suppose that’s why I love the Cafe Mila cake stands, because they are never plain and never boring and there isn’t a sponge in sight.
The coffee, a carefully chosen blend that is prepared by the skilled baristas who works the machines behind the counter at Cafe Mila, are always great. I say great, and I mean it; I love my coffee and I am quite careful about where I buy it as I have grown accustomed to good coffee and will not settle for anything less. A good coffee is always part-bean, part-barista; a good roast is nothing without a good machine and a skilful hand who knows how to prepare it well, of which Cafe Mila has both. It’s not just the wholesome food and good coffee that make this place so warm and inviting, the staff here are always smiling, the place is always busy and the atmosphere is always energetic. People like being here because this feels like it could be your living room, (despite the lunchtime rush of mothers with children) mostly due to the fact that it’s comfortable, friendly and relaxed. If you do have children, this is the perfect spot to bring them, it offers healthy treats for all ages and is very child-friendly. If you don’t have kids then there is space upstairs which is clearly marked as a ‘quiet area’ for adults and well behaved children only. It’s the balance and harmony that you can feel as you step through the doors at Cafe Mila that keeps people coming back, the energy here is just right.
In addition to the awesome food, which is locally sourced and mostly organic, the incredible cakes and comfortable seating, friendly faces and oh-so-yummy coffee; Cafe Mila offers up one last drop of goodness to its patrons. Upstairs from the cafe is a dedicated Yoga studio which offers an assortment of classes throughout the week and you will almost certainly find something to suit just about anyone. They are currently expanding this list of options to include other activities besides the traditional styles of yoga, although the majority of the classes here are most definitely for yogi’s. This bright open space with its calming off-white walls and the beautifully painted ‘Cafe Mila Tree’ is exactly what you might imagine it to be – a space for unwinding after a long day, getting energised in an early morning class, or simply sitting quietly with your thoughts. Just remember to head downstairs for coffee and cake after yoga; perhaps not as virtuous but definitely worth it.
Cafe Mila | 1 Angel Court, Godalming, Surrey GU7 1DT |07793 006467 | http://cafemila.co.uk/