The Cogges Kitchen
Cogges Manor Farm has been an intrinsic part of Witney's history for hundreds and hundreds of years. It is remarkable that it survives, and for us and many others it's like a rural oasis, yet amazingly, within walking distance of the town centre and many popular residential developments.
More recently it has been used as Yew Tree Farm in the wildly popular Downton Abbey tv series which has introduced it to even more people from around the world.
Walking in the walled garden or watching the children explore the beautiful play area through the orchard, it is very easy to forget the hubbub of daily life in bustling Witney.
A few months ago we were approached by the Trustees to see if we would like to join the tender process to run their café when the current incumbents move on to their new venture in photography. It was a daunting process, but we threw our hats into the ring. The process was detailed and quite involved- as it should be. The Trust that now runs Cogges wants to offer something special to its visitors and something that hopefully will become a destination and encourage even more people to enjoy this special place which is so connected to the origins of Witney.
We were delighted to be chosen, and we hope to repay the faith that the Trust has placed in us.
The Cogges Christmas Fayre this year was attended by almost 3000 people and it was fantastic to see so many people making this ancient place alive again. We hope to rejuvenate the café, or The Cogges Kitchen as it will be known, and make it a place that locals and tourists alike will make good use of. We will still be able to do deliveries, and we will also be offering catering and bars for events and weddings at Cogges.
In January we will be starting our refurbishment of the space. We will be reconfiguring the kitchen to make it bigger and able to cope with an expanded menu. We will be bringing in new furniture, some from our friends at local company Bampton Design Ltd; some brand new catering equipment and adding a much needed dash of colour and sunshine! In time for summer we will be adding more outdoor furniture and plants so that families can enjoy refreshments and ice-creams whilst watching their children on the super play equipment which sits in the courtyard garden of the café.
We hope to bring some life and energy to the place whilst doing what we do at Coffeesmith- using local produce, seasonal ingredients, home baking and most importantly, the Coffeesmith brand of hospitality and welcome. We will be offering breakfasts, healthy juices, brunch, hot lunches, salads, sandwiches, cakes, ice-cream, children's lunch bags and proper afternoon teas (amongst other things!) We will also be licenced to serve alcohol, so if you fancy a heritage beer whilst having a dose of Witney heritage and culture, you can!
Our plan is to be open in time for the February half term when Cogges has lots of fun family activities planned, but this isn't set in stone- please follow our progress on our new Twitter account (@CoggesKitchen) and on this website.
Of course, Coffeesmith's coffee credentials are behind all that we do- the reason that we started the original Coffeesmith was simply as a place to get great coffee in Witney. Now that we source our own Coffeesmith beans, we are confident that this is the best coffee around. (Also available to buy to take home, and from our friends at Fat Lil's in Corn Street!)
Our beautiful La Marzocco Strada machine is moving over to Cogges where she will take centre stage.
Our new Italian Sanremo Verona will move to Coffeesmith.
This is an exciting journey for us, and one that feels just right. Those that know us, know that we are cheerleaders for Witney as a town and we love history. Marrying these different elements together is special for us, and we hope that you'll join us on our journey and give us support and constructive suggestions as we start to put together The Cogges Kitchen.