Blakey's is a 1956 converted Bristol Lodekka double decker bus
Originally used to transport children to and from school it was then converted into a driving training vehicle. Following preservation by a bus enthusiast in 1999 it was sold as a smoking shelter for a pub in 2010 where it fell into complete dis-repair. Finally saved from the scrap heap and converted into a café in 2015.
On the ground floor is a fully functioning kitchen run by trained staff and a small seating area. Above is comfortable seating for around 25 people.
Furnished to look like a country tea room, Blakey's in NOT a fast food restaurant. Comfy vintage furniture, clean table cloths and fresh flowers and converted bus seats scattered with cushions make this a dining experience you'll want to keep coming back to.
From the top deck visitors can enjoy conductor service of a selection of mouth-watering treats whilst surrounded by beautiful countryside. The large outside covered court yard allows others to enjoy some fresh air or dog walkers to take a well earned rest and if you haven't got time to stop then a take away counter is provided.
Being towed in, stripped, new panels fitted and painted. Still lots more work to be done!
Blakeys is a real family and community business
Blakeys is the brain child of Rachael Ives and Sam Smith.
Rachael said " For years I have driven through Mulbarton or stopped and walked the dogs on the common and wondered why there wasn't a café here. The beautiful scenery is here to be enjoyed and it seemed such a shame that a park bench and a flask was the only way to do it. When I moved here in 2013 it seemed to be the most common question on residents lips. But it was obvious that premises were limited as they were all filled with long established businesses. I therefore started to explore other possibilities and 2014 I mentioned the idea to my friend Sam and she too thought it was a great idea. The Village Plan had just been produced and the provision of a coffee shop was the top request from residents. So after some careful planning and research and a lot of conversations with councilors, trades people and planning officers the concept of Blakeys was born."
"I come from a family of foodies... we all love cooking and eating. I love to bake cakes and both my parents are keen cooks. Having travelled all over the world and enjoyed the food they have to offer we all have a very varied palette, although in my view nothing beats a slab of Victoria sponge, a scone with clotted cream and jam and a great big pot of English tea, whilst enjoying the British sun-shine."
Norfolk has a fantastic range of local produce and a number of very experienced and clever, butchers, bakers and cake decorators, so where possible produce is sourced from local suppliers. Fresh bread and cakes are delivered each morning and the café is run by Rachael and Sam with help from locally employed waitresses or 'conductors' as we prefer to call them.