From canals to beachfronts, lidos to medieval buildings, we have been hunting down the top cafés with a view in Somerset.

Driftwood Café

The Driftwood Café has stood on the Blue Anchor beach front since the 1930s, on the coastal road running between Watchet and Minehead. Stunning views of the sea can be enjoyed from the front, whilst the West Somerset Railway runs directly behind the café, with the Blue Anchor steam railway station just 50 metres away.

The café is open all year with seating both inside and out, including a sheltered veranda to suit the weather and seasons. Visitors can enjoy watching a storm unfold over the Welsh hills in the distance during the winter, or bathe in the glorious sunrises and sunsets during the summer months.

The licensed café and restaurant has a ‘no nonsense’ menu which supports local suppliers wherever possible. It is renowned for its breakfast offering, served until 3.30pm, whilst the fish and chips are very popular along with the traditional cream teas and homemade cakes.

North Somerset Times: The Walled Garden at Mells. Photo: Gemma KicksThe Walled Garden at Mells. Photo: Gemma Kicks

Walled Garden at Mells

This hidden gem in Mells offers breathtaking views alongside some fabulous food. The outdoor café is sheltered within the ancient walls of what is believed to be the site of an old monastery, once part of Glastonbury Abbey. Little evidence remains of its previous life except a few tantalising glimpses of forgotten stonework hidden under honeysuckles and roses.

Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee, afternoon tea, homemade cake or a wood fired pizza sitting amongst the fragrant blooms and blossoms. The sun terrace has a commanding position overlooking the valley, offering a view of what was probably the site of a monastic carp pond, although now you are more likely to spot cows grazing. There is also a vibrant community plant nursery on site so it’s the perfect place to connect over a common love of gardening and cake. The café closes at the end of September, reopening at the beginning of April 2024.

North Somerset Times: Maunsel Lock. Photo: Michaela KingstonMaunsel Lock. Photo: Michaela Kingston

Maunsel Lock Tearoom

Maunsel Lock Tearoom is situated in a peaceful spot overlooking the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal and is frequented by dog walkers, cyclists, boaters and day trippers alike. The lock itself also marks the start of the Somerset Space Walk so this is an ideal place to fuel up before embarking on the sculpture trail model of the Solar System, set along the towpath for almost seven miles in both directions.

Owner and renowned cake-maker, Nicky Westphal, took over the tearoom in 2019, fulfilling a long-held dream to own her own establishment. The tearoom serves breakfast baps, homemade cakes and bakes, light lunches and pre-booked afternoon teas, and can also be hired for private events. Having just had the premises licence approved, it is also opening later on Fridays and Saturdays for supper and drinks.

Maunsel Lock Tearoom is open throughout the year, although for reduced hours in the winter months and it is closed on Mondays.

North Somerset Times: Cafe Lido. Photo: Barbara ThatcherCafe Lido. Photo: Barbara Thatcher

Café Lido, Portishead

Café Lido enjoys a fantastic location right on the coast in Portishead, with sweeping views over Kilkenny Bay. As well as fantastic sunsets, the bay is known for having a deep-water channel closer to the coast than any other place in the country. As a result, you might catch sight of one of the huge ships making their way up and down the Bristol Channel on their way to Portbury and Avonmouth docks as you sip your flat white. Alternatively, the café deck also overlooks Portishead Lido: both the café and open-air pool are run by Portishead Pool Community Trust, a volunteer led organisation.

Café Lido serves a range of barista coffees and other hot and cold drinks, snacks, ice creams and delicious cakes, supplemented at lunchtime by hot snacks and baguettes. It is open all year round although with varying opening hours so it is worth checking before visiting.

North Somerset Times: The Bishop's Table. Photo: The Bishop's Palace & GardensThe Bishop's Table. Photo: The Bishop's Palace & Gardens

The Bishop’s Table

The Bishop’s Table has a view like no other. Cross the drawbridge into the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace and you’ll find the café, nestled under the trees overlooking the picturesque croquet lawn and medieval Palace buildings. The name itself refers to the tradition of Bishop Ken (Bishop from 1685-1691) of inviting twelve poor men and women of Wells to share a meal at his table when in residence at The Palace.

The popular café received a prestigious VisitEngland award recently and it’s not hard to see why. There is a delicious breakfast and lunch menu available as well as plenty of cake on offer with gluten free and vegan options. Ingredients are sourced as locally as possible, including produce from the Palace’s own Community Garden.

Open all year round, this dog friendly café has indoor and outdoor seating and can be visited without incurring entrance fees to The Palace grounds.