Welcome to Henry’s Café Bookshop & Antiques!
Henry’s has been in business for four years as we opened the doors to our first customers on 1st June 2016 in this beautiful old building which used to be Midlands Bank.
The building was purchased by the current owner, Elisabeth Drake and totally refurbished by adding a mezzanine floor, moving walls, installing modern quality facilities and a small but functional kitchen.
The idea behind Henry’s stems from the inheritance of a vast collection of books, mainly covering historical events, after the premature death of Henry who was Elisabeth Drake’s only sibling, and last surviving relative.
The building was purchased in 2015 and after numerous permissions were obtained, the refurbishment was started using a firm of local builders and a notable firm of architects.
The objective was to establish a business based on the sale of quality books, collectible antiques, simple freshly made food, sourced locally and of course, delicious Italian coffee. This objective was achieved relatively quickly and Henry’s soon established itself as a venue both relaxing and friendly where people could meet family and friends in a warm and cosy environment. Soft classical music in the background accompanies our customers while sampling our scrumptious freshly home-baked cakes and tasting our wide range of coffees and teas.
Henry’s has diversified continuously during the four years of its young life. Entertaining music evenings, championed by live artists combined with the atmospheric ambience have enticed new customers who have thoroughly enjoyed the versatility of this impressive venue, and have become regular followers.
Following the sad and totally unexpected events surrounding Corona Virus and the potentially devastating effects, not only on the population as a whole, but also on individual businesses, especially those situated on the High Street, Henry’s has tried to adapt to this changing scenario.
From its conception the focus of Henry’s was dedicated primarily to offering our customers good quality freshly prepared and reasonably priced food. Following Covid 19, however, to ensure the continuity of the business, we have decide to adjust Henry’s balance and focus our efforts to promote the bookshop part of the business.
After reopening the Café following three unreal months of closure during which most of the staff was furloughed, Henry’s reopened to a modified “slimmed-down” menu and a reduced number of tables to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its valued customers in accordance with Government guidelines.
The mezzanine floor has been reorganised to accommodate more bookcases and a total new array of titles and sections. The bookshop side of the business has now been adapted to the requirements of a proper “bookshop”, thereby satisfying the demands of considerable numbers of our book-loving customers.
September 2020 will also mark a further shift in Henry’s life, always with the primary intention of preserving its long-term survival, which is what our valued customer base ultimately wishes. Henry’s will, therefore, stop serving all cooked food and will concentrate instead on the continuous provision of teas, coffees and delicious fresh cakes which will be served on the ground floor only, leaving the upper mezzanine entirely for the perusal of books.
Customers will also notice the addition of unusual and unique cards produced by local artists, whom Henry’s wishes to promote and support. Various pieces of quality furniture are also now dotted around the Café to satisfy the demand for items of character easily accommodated in any country home.