Imagine an excellent, home cooked fresh lunch at a reasonable price, which also supports both the environment and charity at the same time. If that sounds too good to be true, we can promise you that it is available at a café near you every day.

The Community Café @Riverhousebarn in Walton on Thames is now being run as a not-for-profit venture by a group of hard working volunteers who are passionate about reducing food waste. 1.9 million tons of surplus food is wasted in the UK food industry every day! M&S Walton have offered their surplus to the café, so every day new supplies arrive and the team work out what to make from it.

This is food which may be wrongly labelled, vegetables a little wonky or otherwise on day expiry. All fine for use and the lunch we sampled was innovative and delicious: cauliflower fritters, baked peppers, feta and spinach frittata, salad and the most divine savoury bacon and cheese bread pudding!

Sasha Nash, who is running the café, worked with the famous chef Anton Mossiman some years ago. She also worked at the St Saviours Community lunch programme in Sunbury and when the opportunity came up to relaunch the café at Riverhouse she jumped at it. With a background and love of both art and food, it could not have been a better fit.

While you eat your lovely, fresh £5 lunch, you can be happy also in the knowledge you are helping the world on many levels. You are helping cut waste, supporting this great venue and the idea is that the £5 charge for lunch in the cafe enables Riverhouse to donate meal tokens to local charities. The first beneficiary of the meal tokens will be Elmbridge CAN. This will entitle refugee families to enjoy a home cooked meal in friendly welcoming surroundings.

The team are currently in the process of planning events with other local charities and community groups to create a cafe where the priority is not only the menu, but also the company.

These groups include Elmbridge Community Link, the Counselling Partnership, HomeStart, Cancer Research UK, Meet up Mondays and Walton and Hersham Foodbank.

The café also serves home made cakes, scones and a selection of regular dishes. It is dog friendly and as well as the inside space, you can take your lunch to the sensory garden overlooking the Thames.

If you are on your own and fancy some company then why not try Meet up Tuesday where you can join up with others and enjoy a cuppa together. Tuesdays 10.30-12.30.

Sasha is looking to recruit some new volunteers, ideally someone who can spare a regular slot each week for a couple of hours, either creating dishes in the kitchen or being the friendly front of house face.

Do drop her an email:

Community Café @Riverhousebarn
Manor Road, Walton on Thames
KT12 2PF
Open 10am-4pm daily