Bart’s Cafe – OPEN NOW!
Not only that, but we have a new proprietor who will be running the cafe as his own business, trading as ‘Bart’s Cafe’. Many of our customers will know him already but for those who don’t I asked Bartosz Hilla a few questions about his climbing and his ideas for the cafe…
So Bart, when and where did you start climbing? (and how did this affect your lifestyle)?
I always loved mountains and as teenager I was hiking in the Tatra Mountains in South of Poland. As I was growing up by seaside I didn’t have much opportunity to climb so I am quite new to climbing. I actually started climbing here at Craggy 3 years ago after I came for taster session with my work mates
Do you get to climb outside?
I do but like everyone, I wish I could go outdoors more. I went few times to Portland, Harrisons Rocks, Swanage and Cheddar (My PB – Stoned to Death 6a at The Tsunami). So I do mostly sport climbs. I tried a bit of trad in Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska (pronounced Yoora) just north of Kraków, Poland. It’s great limestone not far from this popular tourist city. This spring I went to El Chorro in Spain and really enjoyed it.
Do you prefer bouldering or routes?
I try to mix it a bit – once a week bouldering and once ropes. If I could squeeze in a 3rd session, it would be ABzone for endurance.
Have you always lived in Surrey (when did you arrive)?
I came to UK in 2004 just for a few months…;) Since then I fell in love with the Surrey Hills (I lived and worked in Ripley for many years) and now I cannot imagine living anywhere else (if only we had a bit of rocks outside of the house LOL)
Tell us about your work in Ripley…
I used to work in a fine dining restaurant now called The Clock House (previously Drake’s Restaurant) for 10 years. It was a great experience working within such a professional and dedicated team. It helped me to find out what I am actually passionate about. I worked as a Sommelier and also looked after the cheese board and making coffees. And now all my passions in life start with the letter C (C for cheese, coffee, cakes and recently climbing).
Have you always worked in catering?
Pretty much. I have a Master degree in Tourism and Hospitality and started working during my uni years as a waiter at my friend’s restaurant and after that I worked in hotels until I started working at Drake’s 10 years ago.
What attracted you to taking on the cafe at Craggy?
I saw the potential in creating a social hub here and I’ve had plenty of ideas about serving proper food and great coffee.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
It has been in my mind for some time now. Looks like it’s getting real and I’m very excited about it!
What is your vision for the cafe (how do you see it as part of the indoor climbing experience)?
Coffee is great because it gives the opportunity for people to connect and be social. As us climbers are a friendly bunch of people it is kind of natural to share our experiences over a cuppa. And that is where Bart’s Cafe comes in. I wanted to create a place where people can meet and have a chat over a nice cup of coffee and grab a bite to fuel up before or after their session and also where parents can spend an hour waiting for their children whilst climbing.
What sort of things do you intend to provide in the cafe?
Since I started to climb I started to look at what I eat and how I fuel my body more closely and try to avoid processed food. We will try to encourage climbers to have a healthy salad or a hearty sandwich made from locally sourced ingredients (bread from the Christmas Bakery, sausage and ham from the Village Butchers, coffee from Surrey Hills Coffee). We will also make our own nutty granola using honey instead of refined sugar. But of course we must have some very naughty cakes so that people can indulge in something nice after a hard day at work or at the weekend. We are going to bake our cakes here on site – my wife Rita is damn good at coming up with good cake recipes so watch this space.
Are you going to introduce us to any Polish foods?
It might be interesting to bring something different to the menu – maybe our famous sour soup – Żurek, but we will start with a British menu and bring some flavours from around the World as we go along. We are planning to change the menu frequently and happy to listen to people’s suggestion.
When are you hoping to open for business?
I am hoping to open during the Easter weekend and hopefully will see a lot of familiar faces enjoying our food and drinks.
This entry was posted on Friday, April 14th, 2017 at 10:14 am and is filed under 3 Star Membership, Craggy Island News, Guildford News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.