A Sunday walk with a friend along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal on the picturesque stretch from Slaithwaite to Marsden, West Yorkshire. We were almost at Marsden when we passed an intriguing sign amongst the natural beauty of the towpath with an arrow pointing away from the towpath.
The sign read ‘Wild Café’ and the colorful set of wooden signs below the arrow read everything we love: cocktails, live music, fresh food, pastries!
We couldn’t resist and followed the arrow off the canal and across a footbridge in search of this hidden cafe. Turning off the bridge into an overgrown, slightly dingy area, we wondered if we’d gone wrong with the directions, but in the distance, across this confused, wild space, we could see twinkling lights attached to a wooden building nestled between the trees.
The 5 minute walk across this untamed landscape from the canal did not prepare us for the hidden delight we encountered.
As you walk past the car park at the entrance to the cafe grounds you will see a beautiful ‘Magic Begins Here’ sign and it really is!
The cafe and grounds exude an air of peaceful tranquility and even before you step into the delightful ‘Wild Garden’ (outdoor area of the cafe) and beyond into the cafe the grounds are a sensory delight, gloriously wild natural beauty interspersed with plenty of quirkiness throughout where you look.
A beautiful pond surrounded by lush plants takes center stage, surrounded by outbuildings and overlooked by the pretty soft blue painted Wild Café.
Set in the grounds of the family-owned The Old Coach House Healing and Wellbeing Center in Marsden, established in 2005, the cafe is a peaceful holistic retreat that welcomes those from far and wide seeking much-needed relaxation and healing.
I simply walked onto the magical grounds and felt the tension lift from my shoulders and a calmness descend.
It was a lovely warm day so we chose to sit outside in the cafe’s garden, a lovely relaxed easy going space with an eclectic mix of seating, colorful cushions, outdoor rugs and plants.
Feeling chilled and relaxed, we browsed the menu, a delicious, colorful menu in a chatty style, in keeping with the whole laid-back vibe of the place.
The menu is based around wholesome, wholesome, eco-friendly food and drink, including nourishing bowls, smoothies, platters, pies, cocktails and more, featuring mostly plant-based ingredients, soul-pleasing foods and all freshly made to order.
It is at this point that I must mention the staff… with fabulous ‘Wild Café’ tropical shirts and big smiles, the team at the café are welcoming, friendly and have a wonderfully relaxed attitude, whilst remaining efficient and professional at the same time. While speaking with a member of the team, I was given an opportunity to look around before ordering.
The inside of the cafe is cozy and rustic and in keeping with the outside space, a quirky mix of seating, foliage plants and decor has created a warm and inviting atmosphere. Inside, you’ll also find the Wild Living gift shop, a space that sells an array of indulgent wellness products, essential oils, candles, artsy greeting cards, and more.
The magic doesn’t end there, I was then taken to the upstairs of the cafe and was totally in awe! The cafe has its own Treehouse Cabin and Tee Pee rooms that can be booked. Fantastic secluded and cozy spaces that are truly magical spaces full of soft furnishings, curtains, twinkling lights with a sense of intimacy, perfect for dining and drinking with a group of friends.
Both areas can accommodate up to 6 people and are reserved exclusively for single bookings. I held back from photos of this area as I think it needs to be experienced in person, not to spoil the wow factor.
Wild Café is constantly expanding and evolving with fantastic events taking place such as their ‘Gig in the Wild Garden’, an event that celebrates summer evenings with live music, great food and cocktails and what a magical place to host them!
Back to the outside table where my friend had perused the menu we decided on the Sharing Platter and we were not disappointed.
For £19.95 it came with toast of the week with olive oil + balsamic dip oil, Kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, hummus, tzatziki, grilled halloumi all served with toasted flat bread, delicious! Huge hummus aficionados ordered an extra portion of hummus and flatbread and celebrated finding this wonderful place with a lovely chilled bottle of prosecco.
A perfect lunch to share was in a perfect setting, we could have happily stayed there all day!
Wild Café is a haven of peace nestled between the rugged scenery of the West Yorkshire countryside, on the edge of Marsden village and the wild Marsden Moors.
It showcases everything that’s magical about this part of West Yorkshire – its wild natural beauty, varied landscape and uniquely quirky character.
I took a walk on the wild side and will definitely be back!