Now, I have to say, this was an unusual treat. We’ve really enjoyed Aldenham Country Park walking around Aldenham Reservoir, but a few minutes away is this distinctive café.
The Aerodrome Café at Elstree is a gem of a place that delivers in a range of ways. Most importantly, it’s very easy to get to from Barnet, so ideal for a spontaneous trip. It’s located alongside an airstrip and – big bonus – the food is notably good.
We visited on a rather wild, wet and windy day, so there wasn’t much action in the air. However, the weather kept changing dramatically, so we did see a plane arriving (with a rather bumpy landing) and a helicopter descending rather more smoothly. It’s a fascinating viewpoint, even just looking out on all the strip and stationary aircraft. Surprisingly, it’s not at all flash and has a relaxed, genuine feel with a mixed crowd (families – kids obviously love it, couples, larger groups catching up over lunch and pilots).
As for the café itself, it has an enclosed glazed veranda (with the best tables for viewing things), but there is plenty of space inside. The menu is a mixture of breakfast/brunch/afternoon tea items (classic café fair) and there are a number of more special, creative dishes. We had a representative combination: smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel served with chips and salad (£7.95), gammon, egg and chips (£9.95) and Omelette Arnold Bennett/Arnold Egg Benedict Omelette (£10.95). These were all very generous portions and the omelette in particularly you could have shared as it was so rich and satisfying. I found it difficult choosing as a lot of things were very tempting – and especially on a dismal day. However, you might have to wait a while for the food if it’s busy.
There’s also a good selection of drinks. We had English Breakfast Tea (£2) and tap water with our food, and the café is licensed. Wine is from £4.50 per glass and a bargain £14.95 per bottle with Prosecco £6.50/£18. That or the rosé would be great choices for the food. There’s also beer and cider from £4 (and 0% Peroni Libera at £3.50). Soft drinks are from £1.95 and the hot drinks are keenly priced, too. You’ll need plenty of caffeine getting airborne in our unpredictable weather…
Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 5.30pm
Saturday: 9am to 5.30pm
Sunday: 9am to 5pm.
(Their Instagram feed shows lots more pics.)
Hogg Lane, Elstree, Herts WD6 3AR
020 8953 7480