Clifton Bridge cafe is at the end of Wilford Lane on the edge of Wilford and Clifton. It has been run by the same family for three generations and there is a nice story of it’s history on their website “A Brief History of Land, House & Cafe by Susan Moran” plus some really nice old photographs too.
In brief, just after the first world war, Susan’s Great Grandfather, Walter Roe bought a small amount of land from Colonal Clifton’s estate and started a small holding, with the sheep grazing on their land & common land. People travelling out to the countryside would camp there and Susan’s grandmother sold tea on the lawn from a small outbuilding which was known as ‘Roes Tea Gardens’, then after the second world war, a cafe was built on the same site by her father James Hawkins and Uncle George in the old chicken shed which was to be known as ‘Roes Transport Cafe’. Some years later in the early 1950’s when the council was building the first Clifton Bridge, which now runs near to and almost over the current site, the land on Clifton Lane was exchanged for a similar area of land on the opposite side of Clifton Lane, and the current house & Cafe, a vehicle park and the caravan park were built. The current cafe has been trading in that site ever since.
So why you ask am I giving you such a potted history for what on the face of it looks like just another transport cafe like all the others? Well the thing is that I have known of this place since I was a boy and it has featured in my consiousness for at least 40 years. The other day I was passing and having not been past for a while I was a little sad to see a for sale sign up on the property. So I felt that I should go in while I had the chance and before another faceless corporation serving ‘plastic’ food moves into the site.
So what sort of food should one expect here? I expect that since it is a truckers cafe that all-day breakfasts, bacon butties and mugs of tea are going to feature prominently. You can check out their basic menu on their website, and if you check the boards when you visit you may find some other specials.
The basic breakfast plate at Clifton Cafe was a fried egg, a sausage, two slices of bacon, beans, and a slice of fried bread with a mug of tea and a slice of buttered bread for £4. It was a good sized plateful and everything on there was just as expected. The bacon was a bit salty but that is how I like it. I used my slice of bread to make a small bacon butty which I then dipped into my runny egg yolk and then once that was all depleted I used the rest to mop up my bean juice when I had eaten the rest of the breakfast.
I hope that I get to visit again and that either the 4th generation take over, or someone elses family next for their first generation
The cafe is located on the A453 just off the A52 in Nottingham between Clifton and Wilford. You can check them out on their website.