Scarthin Books Cafe, Cromford, Derbyshire
Scarthin Books by the mill pond in Cromford, is a rambling, slightly tatty, very friendly and fascinating bookstore – one of the few remnants of the independent book shop movement of the ’60s to early ’90s.
On the first floor, behind an amazing door which has to be seen, is the small vegetarian cafe. A little too small, perhaps, but rarely crowded in my experience.
They have a good selection of vegan dishes, including carrot cake made using carrots from their own garden, and whenever possible, eggs used in the vegetarian dishes are from their own chickens.
Plenty to read – the music and food sections of the shop are in the cafe, together with an eclectic magazine rack – and it’s always warm in winter. In warmer weather, there are seats and a table hewn from a tree trunk out by the pond.
Gary Repton is in the process of editing a short film about the shop.
If I go alone, I end up making a morning or afternoon of browsing and book buying, stopping for a break in the cafe for tea and a home made homity pie or slice of pizza.