Carriages Cupcake and Coffee Shop was my introduction to Emsworth. On the platform at the Emsworth station it was neat, organised and welcoming. Serving their home baked cup cakes.
But it was the book exchange which captured my interest.
That and a simple sign, inviting you to simply “take one”. Not two for one. No donations, no obligation. Something that said everything about not only the cafe, but the community. Values that all too often get lost in the rush to see things through.
“It all started with the new waiting room when customers were asked what they wanted.”
“It was a cafe.”
“So a business plan was put together by the Emsworth Residents Association and Southern Rail.”
Everything was recycled – from the shelves, which were a CD rack, to the suitcase trolley which held crisps and confectionery, to the counter – which Garry made from a door.
And the community pitched in, helping to start a small business in a village that has managed to retain it’s charm.
But running a small business is tough at the best of times and COVID took an inevitable toll. Since then however the cafe has seen an extensive upgrade and has been reopened by Carinna Butler-Hoskins as Queenies Vintage Tea Room.
And if you are a visitor looking for information about Chichester Harbour or what to do in and around Emsworth this is a good place to start.
Emsworth Local serves as an unofficial Information Office and Visitor Centre for Emsworth and the Chichester Harbour Conservancy offering useful advice and tourist information about the area.