Two Many Cooks, Dorking

If it's healthy, homemade food you're after, this small cafe is just the spot. And they do some pretty tasty cakes too

Is this not a object of beauty and lust?

An avocado and chilli combination lying akimbo on a bed of sour dough, ready to be devoured by your… oh alright, I’ve taken this analogy as far as I can without a gastronomic X-rating, but I’m guessing you’re licking your lips in moist slo-mo, so you’re getting the idea.

My lunchtime food porn came courtesy of Two Many Cooks in Dorking, a buzzy little cafe on South Street known for its great coffee and homemade food. The menu board changes daily, but you can expect tarts, salads, soups and sandwiches, and plenty of homemade cakes.

I met a couple of girlfriends for lunch and we chose Dorking because it was fairly central to each of us, coming as we were from different parts of Surrey, and London. We chose Two Many Cooks because I’d heard good things about it, and I was keen to get the low down myself.

The cafe is fairly small, so it’s not particularly toddler or baby friendly. We had a baby and buggy among us, and while it worked okay for just one, I wouldn’t suggest this as a great stop for a massive groups of mums. Think of it more as a good place to go for a quick lunch, a business meeting or to catch up with friends.

Full disclosure: the day I went, I was suffering horrendously from a hangover, and I really couldn’t face the coffee (I know, it’s terribly unlike me – the hangover, and skipping coffee!). But I can vouch for that avocado on toast, and it was pretty close to the perfect hangover cure. My friends each had the salad bowls, which looked amazing, and very healthy.

The previous heavy night, however, did not keep me from the cakes. We ordered a selection, and all I can say – other than thank god for elasticated trousers – is yum! I can’t remember the exact cakes we ordered – foggy brain, remember – but there was a darn good flapjack and a lovely lime and coconut cake among them.

Two Many Cooks also has a cafe in Reigate, and while I have yet to eat there, I’d imagine it’s along pretty similar lines with the same home cooked food and cakes, and top notch coffee.

THE MUDDY VERDICT:

Good for: girlie lunches, cake-munchers, shoppers needing sustenance. Plus there are a couple of tables out the front if you want to enjoy some rays.

Not for: Posh noshers. It’s an excellent café, not white tablecloth territory.

££: Well priced. The salad bowls were £4.50, and the avocado, lime and chilli was £5.75. Sandwiches are £4-£5.75, tarts and soup are each around £4. And ingredients are top notch. I guarantee you’ll love it.

Two Many Cooks is at No 32 South Street, Dorking, Surrey RH4 2HQ. Tel: 01306 882 200. Open seven days a week.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Surrey