Business booming for Bumbles cafe in Epperstone which boasts a wild garden

The wild garden belongs to a villager but can be used by Bumbles' customers
The wild garden belongs to a villager but can be used by Bumbles' customers -Credit:Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post

Shrouded by trees and bushes, there's a wild garden which will soon be buzzing with customers from Bumbles tea shop. The tiny Epperstone cafe has use of the private garden on the opposite side of the road which belongs to a "lovely lady" in the village.

Cafe owner Steph Inglis, who took over the business earlier this year, plans to increase the number of tables so even more customers can enjoy the pretty space while tucking into breakfast, lunch, or cakes, surrounded by bluebells and forget-me-nots.

"It's an amazing garden. I'm getting parasols with Bumbles tea room on them, which brings it into Bumbles a bit more. I don't want people to feel forgotten about, I still want them to feel part of Bumbles," said Steph, who moved to Nottinghamshire from Northumberland, where she previously ran a cafe for seven years.

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Settling in the village with her partner and mother following the death of her father, she saw the cafe was up for sale. "We drove past and I said I'm going to buy Bumbles. Just like that we bought it overnight. I knew I'd have to build it back up but it’s been busy ever since."

The no-nonsense menu has locals and visitors from further afield flocking in. Breakfasts are served all day, with a choice of a full English, cobs with egg, sausage or bacon, and beans on toast.

Bumbles' owner Steph Inglis with the best-selling breakfasts
Bumbles' owner Steph Inglis with the best-selling breakfasts -Credit:Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post

Sandwiches, toasties, paninis and jacket potatoes have crowd-pleasing fillings and toppings such as beans, cheese, ham and tuna. "I've never been into doing all the fancy stuff - people don't want that. They just want to come in and have a good breakfast and paninis are a good seller," she said.

The cooked breakfast is certainly proving popular - coming second in Nottinghamshire Live's poll asking readers to recommend their favourite. The dog-friendly cafe also makes sure pooches get a treat too - with free sausages for them. Cookies, traybakes and sponge cakes are made by either Bumbles' in-house bak er or Cakesmiths, while Thaymar ice cream comes from the dairy in Retford.

Since taking over Steph has given the tea room a revamp, including new built-in benches to increase seating from 16 to 27 and because it gets so hot in summer, air conditioning has just been installed.

Inside Bumbles in Epperstone
Inside Bumbles in Epperstone -Credit:Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post

She said: "It's booming. We always have a bit of a lull about 2pm but we have just started to build that up so it’s getting a bit busy. It has taken off really really well. Everyone keeps saying I need a bigger cafe because at the weekend people are outside queuing on the footpath.

"I love what I do. The villagers have been brilliant, so supportive. We are still getting new customers. Before a lot of people stopped coming because it was never open and I want to bring those customers back now. We are just getting all the cyclists back which is a good thing. We do takeaway and a lot for the footballers at the weekend."

Apart from the Cross Keys pub, there's no where else for villagers to eat or socialise - or even shop for that emergency bottle of milk. The nearest stores are in Lowdham or Calverton, so Bumbles has started selling essentials such as bread, milk, teabags, toothpaste and toilet rolls. Locally made honey and marmalade is also stocked.

The new built-in seating and grocery corner at Bumbles
The new built-in seating and grocery corner at Bumbles -Credit:Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post

Steph is helped out in the cafe by Stacey Lowrie, who previously worked for her in Northumberland for around five years. She moved to Notts and now lives in a flat in the village. Stacey said: "I was going to move somewhere anyway and this came up at the right time. It sounded like a good opportunity to get back into this work. I didn't have to think twice.

"The people are much nicer here, so it's made it quite easy for me to settle in. It feels like I have been here for years, not three months, which is a good thing. Steph is a good boss. She knows what she wants and how she wants it done and it obviously works, you can tell by how the business is going. And she's fair, so what more could you ask for?"

When Nottinghamshire Live visited, there was a constant flow of customers. One woman left saying: "Thank you, it was absolutely lovely as always."

Bumbles' owner Steph Inglis will be adding more tables to the garden this summer
Bumbles' owner Steph Inglis will be adding more tables to the garden this summer -Credit:Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post

Pete Hayes, of Mapperley, and his friend Pete Harris, of Woodborough, were setting themselves up for a day out by having a full English and coffee. He said: "It's traditional coming out on a Wednesday and we need to come somewhere for breakfast first. We are always looking for a good local place. We know it's nice food here and that's the main thing. It represents good value. The breakfast has good sausages and it tastes fresh, not processed. It's a nice friendly atmosphere and nice decor."

Steph's motivation for taking over Bumbles came from something her late father Les Hall, 83, used to say. "My dad always said do what you’re good at and never drop your standards. I want to keep it busy and keep going. If ever I have a lull or a down day that's what keeps me going. I'm doing it for dad."

The only downside to Bumbles is the series of steps leading up to the entrance, making it difficult for disabled visitors to enter. The back way in is slightly easier with two steps, or they can sit in the garden.