For sale: Norfolk’s very own 1956 double decker turned quirky vintage café

PUBLISHED: 09:54 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:55 09 February 2018

Blakey's bus

Blakey's bus


This is one bus you really do want to catch! Blakey’s is a 1956 Lodekka double decker which has been converted into a tea room which has been serving afternoon cakes and brews on the Common, Mulbarton, Norwich, since it opened in 2016.

Up on the top deck Up on the top deck

The bus was originally used to transport children to and from school before being converted into a driving training vehicle.

Following preservation by a bus enthusiast in 1999, it was sold as a smoking shelter for a pub in 2010 and later fell into complete disrepair. But then Rachael Ives and Sam Smith took it on and converted it from a rusty discarded vehicle and converted it into a café, opening in March, 2016.

They now want to move on to other ventures and the bus, all the equipment and the rights to lease with the local authority is for sale for in the region of £175,000 with Attik Property Services.

Kate Mamo-Lewis, who runs Attik with Samantha Withers, said: “This is certainly a quirky ‘property’ but we love it - on the ground floor is a fully functioning kitchen and a small seating area. “Above, the bus has been converted with seating for around 25 people, furnished to look like a country tea room.”

Inside, it's got all the original bus infrastructure Inside, it's got all the original bus infrastructure

Owner Rachael said: “For years I drove through Mulbarton or stopped and walked the dogs on the common and wondered why there wasn’t a café there. The beautiful scenery is here to be enjoyed and it seemed such a shame that a park bench and a flask was the only way to do it.

“When I moved here in 2013 it seemed to be the most common question on residents’ lips. But it was obvious that premises were limited as they were all filled with long established businesses. The heart of the village is the beautiful common and this seemed the ideal location but being a conservation area the prospect of constructing a brick building was all but impossible.

“In 2014 the village plan had just been produced and the provision of a coffee shop was the top request from residents. So after some careful planning and research and a lot of conversations with councilors, trades people and planning officers the concept of Blakey’s was born.”

Visitors have come and sampled the home baked cakes and afternoon tea at Blakey’s from all over the world so it’s hoped a new owner will be found to keep the service going.

Models Lydia, Amber, Vikki, Claire and Shanice. Hair by Rock n Rolla, make-up by Kirstie Barton-Grimley Models Lydia, Amber, Vikki, Claire and Shanice. Hair by Rock n Rolla, make-up by Kirstie Barton-Grimley

“The overnight success of Blakey’s has opened the doors to new opportunities for us and we now feel it is time to pursue those and allow someone else to drive Blakey’s onto the next level. We already have a private hire and outside catering service and our vintage ice cream bike is a huge summer hit,” said Rachael.

“For someone looking for an established business with a loyal and ever-growing customer base this should certainly ring their bell and it’s the only four Michelin tyred café I know.”

All pics courtesy of Janie Richardson, bigphatphotos.co.uk. Contact Attik Property Services on 01362 694 800, email enquiries@attikpropertyservices.co.uk www.attikpropertyservices.co.uk

Latest Property Articles

William H Brown held its first auction of the year yesterday. Simon Arnes, managing director and auctioneer, reports on the sale held at the Barnham Broom country house hotel.

The incredible position of the impressive Cliffside House in Overstrand , once the home of famous architect Edward Boardman, has ensured beautiful sea views by day and mesmerising sunsets and starry skies by night.

A tug-of-war is under way over where homes in Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk should be built by 2036.

Mike Rix of Savills Norwich residential team homes in on the village of Trowse and the importance of ‘location’

Five property projects including the restoration of one of the oldest buildings in Carbrooke and the creation of Norwich’s International Aviation Academy have been shortlisted for a major award.

If you dream of owning a gorgeous farmhouse with country views, it’s not always easy as many such properties stay in the same family for generations. But High Elm House, Pye Lane, Deopham, may be just what you are looking for. Property editor Caroline Culot went to visit this property for sale with Brown & Co.

Howard Bailey, of Spire solicitors, discusses using bitcoins for buying and selling properties.

Concerns have been raised over the future of a river valley following plans for new homes.

One of the first apartments in the NR1 complex on Norwich riverside has now sold with buyers able to get a mortgage following confirmation that the building is fire proof.

Kate Mamo-Lewis and Samantha Withers of Attik Property Services talk about the emotional difficulty of letting go of your possessions, or clearing the house of a loved one.

Renters with pets say they are victims of discrimination when searching for rental property.

Need some insider knowledge from a Norfolk interior designer? Read Louise Ives-Wilkinson’s trade secrets and save money on your DIY...

How easy is it really to renovate a property from scratch? Property editor Caroline Culot went to see Norwich graphic designer Vish Joory who has just bought a terraced house in need of a complete renovation and restoration.

Does your home or office leave you feeling a bit uninspired? Property editor Caroline Culot asked interior designer Louise Ives-Wilkinson for some ideas based on actual projects.

It may be Daniel Day-Lewis who is up for an Oscar for his role in the stylish new film the Phantom Thread – but the real, understated star is the beautiful Georgian mews house the story is set in, which is for sale in London for offers in excess of £15 million. Property editor Caroline Culot finds a Norfolk equivelant!

Have you joined the self-build revolution?

Joe Pattinson, from Newbury New Homes, asks whether greedy developers will be penalised?

One of the oldest buildings in Wymondham where 41 Tudor heraldic wall shields were discovered in its restoration is now for sale with the historic relics preserved behind glass.

Norwich is set to benefit from nearly £1m in funding to clear a brownfield site ready for up to 250 new homes.

The iconic pink house on Pottergate is on the market.

A rare opportunity to buy the former Port and Haven commissioner’s office on South Quay, Great Yarmouth, has arisen.

A parish councillor fears there is little which can be done to stop 283 homes from being built to the east of Norwich.

The chief executive of Weston Homes says he is committed to redeveloping Norwich’s Anglia Square.

Lots of luxury homes were snapped up across the county last year.

In an age when some estate agents are here today, gone tomorrow, to be operating after 25 years in the business is somewhat an achievement. So there is much to celebrate at Bycroft Estate Agents in Great Yarmouth as property editor Caroline Culot found out when she visited Charles Bycroft and his son, Daniel.

April 6 last year marked the introduction of the profound changes to the taxation of buy-to-let investments, leaving landlords scrambling around trying to protect themselves from higher tax bills due to the reduced deductibility of mortgage interest.

Coming down the pike (yet another) new law seemingly to further bash already well beaten up landlords. Recently, the bill to allow tenants to sue their landlords where their home is not fit for purpose was debated in Parliament and passed with flying colours by MPs across all political divides. It is expected the resultant law will be up and running by the end of this year.

This is one bus you really do want to catch! Blakey’s is a 1956 Lodekka double decker which has been converted into a tea room which has been serving afternoon cakes and brews on the Common, Mulbarton, Norwich, since it opened in 2016.

A £48m project to build more than 300 new homes just a stone’s throw away from Norwich City Football Club’s Carrow Road stadium could be about to take a major step forward.

Bad mould? Leaking roof, or made homeless? We want to hear from you if you have had any problems with housing.

Norwich has missed out on £55m and lost more than 900 council homes because of the government’s Right To Buy scheme, council leaders have said.

The Norfolk Broads is one of the biggest attractions for people wanting to move to the county, says Sheron Harley, from the Property Shop.

In years gone by, the start of the year was traditionally when estate agents could ease slowly back into work after the Christmas break, safe in the knowledge that most people would leave it until the first green shoots of spring before thinking about putting their house on the market, or starting to look for their next dream home.

Most boys love their toys but when you’re a top professional football player, you can afford very large toys and an even larger house in which to play with them!

Councillors have approved plans for 71 new homes in Drayton and a further 20 in Little Plumstead.

A Broadland councillor said plans for a new supermarket in Taverham were none of Norwich City Council’s “business” following its objection to the scheme.

Plans for a petrol station near Norwich have been turned down after councillors heard there was a “real risk” the city’s drinking water supply could become contaminated.

Plans for a drive-through KFC and Starbucks in the heart of the Postwick Hub have been recommended for approval by council officers.

Construction of a 163-home development in Blofield could begin this summer should it receive planning permission.

Twenty new homes and an extension to a school car park are proposed for the former hospital site in Little Plumstead.

Residents of a new estate in a Norfolk market town have branded a massive ’soakaway’ pit which they say was dug in front of their homes without notice a dangerous death trap.

New showhomes were launched today in Threescore, Bowthorpe at what is the largest ‘passivhaus’ development in the UK.

Showhouses at a new Norfolk Homes development in Hemsby are available to view this weekend.

We’ve mapped the latest price paid data from the Land Registry Office to give a snapshot of the Norfolk property market.

Meet the Editor

Caroline Culot


I am the property editor in charge of delivering some exciting and informative content within Archant’s varied titles. We have 16-17 pages of stories, features and columns in the EDP Property supplement out every Friday free in your EDP so please don’t miss it.