Hidden cafe in Lickey Hills near Longbridge where the ducks are friendlier than the staff – Alison Brinkworth

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If you’re wondering how to find this little cafe hidden away in the scenic Lickey Hills, just follow the ducks. It’s called the Duck Pond Cafe for good reason as it sits in an ideal retreat across from the water and near an adorable wooden triangular duck house.

Just on the border between Longbridge and Rednal in Worcestershire, the cafe is tucked away behind the Rose & Crown pub and Lickey Hill golf course. The cafe doubles as the Golfers Clubhouse, but on the public side it actively sells breakfast sandwiches, pies, coffees and even duck food for 70p.

Although you can spot the comfortable seats inside on the other side, don’t dare ask if you can sit there. New to the place, I ignorantly asked if this was where we could bring our food and drinks and got a gruff response. “This is for golfers only,” barked the pointed waiter.

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I swear I heard a “humpff” right after, but maybe he gets asked all the time. The service was a bit gruff with everyone, I noticed, and this is not the place to chat and smile. But who needs that with the beautiful surroundings and those friendly birds?

This public side of the cafe is primarily for takeout. There is a hatch to order and just a few stools in a breakfast bar overlooking the view.

There are plenty of benches and picnic tables outside, perfect for alfresco dining, as long as it’s not raining. The ducks are very tame and came to read what was on our daily menu, but they were in no way aggressive or bothersome.



A cafe in a beautiful location

Follow the signs for Lickey Hills Golf Course and you will come to the free car park next to the Rose Hill Cafe. It is located at the foot of the Lickey Hills, at the bottom of Beacon Hill to be exact.

There is the duck pond and a nice stream with water cascading down the hill. The paths take you higher up amongst the trees so there are plenty of dog walkers around to wander around.

Many people use the cafe for take-out tea and coffee while they walk.

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Food at Duck Pond Cafe

There is a wide menu (for people and animals). As well as duck food you can also get chews for 25p or free water for your pet. There’s everything from an all day breakfast for £7.15 to baguettes, baked potatoes and even fresh homemade soup for £2.85.

Pies seem to be a specialty, so we tried two with gourmet fries. These were the Lickey 2 Meater containing chunks of chicken and ham in a ‘white sauce’ and the vegetarian option of Broccoli and Stilton, both costing £4.95 for the pie or £6.95 as a meal with fries.

From the extensive hot and cold drinks menu I had a latte for £2.85 which was frothy and hot to warm me up sitting outside. Everything from hot chocolate to espresso, flat white, americano or old plain tea is also available.



Pie and fries at Duck Pond Cafe at Lickey Hills
Pie and fries at Duck Pond Cafe at Lickey Hills

Fresh baked, the homemade pies and fries arrived in a take away box about 10 minutes later. The buttery batter of both crumbles deliciously in the mouth. While the flavors were spot on, especially the cheese in the stilton pie, there wasn’t enough sauce inside either which made them a little dry.

The real highlight were the excellent fries – the best I’ve tasted in a long time, putting even McDonald’s to shame. They were called “Gourmet Fries” and they were really just that.

Slightly crispy but with enough softness inside to taste like sweet potato. Freshly cooked, steaming and not too greasy either. Absolutely delicious.

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Service

Don’t expect smiling or chatty service behind the counter. That said, the server is efficient and makes everything fresh and fast.

Although delighted to be surrounded by the quacks of waddling birds, I didn’t expect the ducks to end up being friendlier than the brusque waiter behind the counter. But the serene scenery made up for any abrupt conversation in the cabin.

Prices at Duck Pond Cafe

They are good quality products that are sold at an average price, so it seems fair. A cup of tea costs £1.55, an americano costs £2.45 while more extravagant hot drinks like a latte and hot chocolate or cappuccino cost £2.85.



Scenery next to Duck Pond Cafe in Lickey Hills
Scenery next to Duck Pond Cafe in Lickey Hills

Food-wise, the £4.95 pies and £2 large portion of gourmet fries are on point because they are homemade and so delicious. Stuffed Baked Potatoes retail for £5.99.

The only thing slightly off and more expensive than normal was the chopsticks. A Coronation chicken baguette costs £6.85, while a version with roasted Mediterranean vegetables and pesto costs £6.50 without a side dish.

Verdict

It’s a real mix of highs and lows for this coffee, reflected in the rating. For one, they serve five-star fries and delicious coffees in a beautifully scenic setting.

On the other hand, customer service could do with a bit of work and it’s not ideal for a rainy day as there isn’t much seating inside – unless you’re a club member golf course (but don’t ask about it).

Prices are decent and average and I would happily stay there again, especially on a summer day in the beautiful surroundings. After all, I know the ducks will welcome me.

Duck Pond Cafe, Rose Hill, Lickey Hills, Rednal, B45 8RT.

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