The Wakeman’s House Cafe, Ripon

Blog post

I live in a pretty small city but there are an abundance of independent cafes that I’m currently trying to work my around instead of going to a chain. So far I’ve reviewed Chimes and Oliver’s Pantry and now I’ve added The Wakeman’s House Cafe to the list.

The Wakeman’s House Cafe, 33 Market Place E, Ripon, HG4 1EZ.

The Wakeman’s House Cafe is housed in one of the oldest buildings in Ripon – It’s a really cool building actually, a bit crooked and painted in black and white (unfortunately I didn’t get a photo because it was really busy in town).

It’s been a lot of things in it’s time (It’s been round since the medieval period but I’m not sure of an exact date 1400/1500’s I think) but it’s most well known for being the home of the last Wakeman/first mayor of Ripon – As Wakeman it was his job to patrol the city on a night and keep the inhabitants safe. He would also sound a horn at 9pm each night, at the four corners of the market square to let them know he was on patrol and ready to rock if the enemy arrived. This is actually a tradition that the city has carried on with – To this day there is still a horn blower every night at nine, although it’s more of an attraction now than an actual patrol.

Since then it has been many things – Home to a basket maker, a warehouse, a shop, an antiques dealers, a museum and now, a cafe.

pate at the wakeman's house cafe
hot chocolate at the wakeman's house cafe

The cafe is really cosy and intimate with really low ceilings and loads of old photos of the building itself. The tables are set out pretty close to one another as it’s such a small space (although there is a room in the back that I didn’t see). The staff were really friendly and the service was super quick considering how many people were in there. I would definitely recommend booking if you want to go for dinner as a lot of the tables were reserved between 12 and two.

The husband and I got lucky, arriving at 11.30, and tucked into a light lunch. Husband went for a panini and I opted for pate, onion chutney and toast with – what else – a hot chocolate.

I was expecting to come away feeling quite hungry as I thought it would be a really small portion but nope, it pogged me.

The pate was really soft, the toast was done to perfection (Husband specified that I wanted it lightly toasting, thank God) and the onion chutney was really nice. Sometimes I find it a bit too tangy but this was spot on – I should have really asked where they sourced their chutney from/if they sold it.

Husband really enjoyed his bbq chicken panini and we both found ourselves doing our little happy jigs that we do when we really like our grub – The other customers (who were all over a certain age) must have thought we were really weird. Even better? The bill – with two places and two drinks – Came to £12. TWELVE POUNDS for two full tummies.


After settling the bill, we had a mooch around town, heading to Artichoke and The Vault, two of my favourite shops. I lingered for far too long in the candle sections and had to be forcibly dragged away from the florist’s outdoor display that was full of colour and signs of spring.

Anyway, I think I’ve waffled on for long enough – Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your day.

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