by Amanda Jones
Standing in the heart of the town of Okehampton in Devon, Toast Coffee House is surrounded by stone walled buildings, lying opposite the present cinema, Dartmoor Life Museum and near to the supermarkets and car parks. The door opens to reveal an impressive, spacious interior making use of the space well in this old Edwardian cinema. Décor is modern and fresh and the shop, seating area and counter are all open plan and welcoming.
There are further rooms and a seating area to the rear up a few steps. The toilets are downstairs and the café invites the artisan’s eye to study their surroundings.
I spoke to Laura just as a busy stream of customers arrived. In between serving she explained that the regular performances hosted in Toast are for an adult audience and consist of Comedy nights, Jazz nights and a Spanish Guitar musician. There is a magic show for the grown ups and all events are ticketed and advertised in advance and include a platter of food. In 2018 a local choir ‘Moor Harmony’ provided carol singing on a festive day.
Now we’re on the subject of eating, the menu revealed a variety of options including gluten free, vegan and children’s choices. Light lunches, soup, pizza and huge, fresh cakes accompany the range of teas, coffees and soft drinks. Free Wi-Fi is available and as you relax into comfortable seating music plays in the background.
In the gift shop area near the entrance door there is a range of gifts including cards, jewellery and candles. Wall space is welcoming and a doorway at the rear invites you to the Toast Wellness Centre where yoga is available on Saturday mornings, including people who just walk-in.
A loyalty card allows you to collect your hot drinks rewarding you with a free, regular drink on your tenth stamp. Take away and bookings are available or you can sit and relax with a magazine.
After enjoying my chat, coffee and cake I came away from Toast feeling refreshed and hope that the owner, Jo Seale, continues to provide such an efficient, friendly service and warm environment for many years ahead.