Known as the “Oscars of the museums’ world”, the Museums + Heritage Awards celebrate the very best in the world of museums and heritage attractions. Over the past months, hundreds of entrants from around the world have been battling it out for seventeen prestigious awards, and the Mill’s Riverside Café is shortlisted for the 2022 Museum Café of the Year.
Over recent years, the café on the banks of the River Test benefited from top quality improvements. These are enjoyed by thousands of visitors from Hampshire and beyond. The Café, designed to offer views of the River Test from its wide glazed window seats, overlooks the River Test. Its striking design and riverside setting is popular with visitors as well as the local community.
The fresh menu offers seasonal produce made, baked and grown by local producers and suppliers. Suppliers include Chalk Stream trout, the award-winning Hampshire Deli handmade pies and pasties, Blundell Bakes cakes and Tracklements chutneys.
Operations Manager, Jess Bone, said: “Our team of Mill Hosts are the heroes. They work hard to give visitors a warm welcome and fresh delicious food. Several local couples visit regularly, where one is in the latter stages of dementia. Our Mill Hosts have formed friendships with them and go out of the way to get to know them. Despite everything thrown at us during 2021, our cafe is a success, going from strength to strength.”
Since the cafe reopened in 2018 the number of groups meeting weekly at the Cafe has grown. Cyclists, parents with young babies, Pilates groups, and book clubs are regulars. The Mill also has a Chatty Café table, every Wednesday a table is set aside where anyone can join a table to meet new people.
Other nominees are the Manchester Jewish Museum, English Heritage’s Stonehenge Café, Kiplin Hall in Yorkshire and The Black Watch Castle and Museum. The winner will be announced at a glittering ceremony on Wednesday 11 May.