CANAL life is catching on as the legions of city dwellers who flock to live the good life on the inland waterways will no doubt testify.
And if eating aboard the Llangollen Canal floats your boat then Butty and Sweet, a new venture at the Trevor Basin in Pontcysyllte, is well worth a visit.
Café owners Mandy and Dave spotted the opportunity to run a business from the UNESCO World Heritage Site – and the couple, who were originally berthed on the Bridgewater Canal in Lymm, near Warrington, report that business is booming.
No wonder, as the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct crossing is just 100 yards from where their café boat laps the water’s edge.
Boaters, walkers, cyclists and an army of tourists tramp by and are no doubt grateful for the snacks and drinks on offer.
Plans for a floating café at the Basin date back to 2015 as part of a multi-million pound investment in the site aimed at boosting visitor numbers.
Pontcysyllte is not for the faint hearted – Thomas Telford’s 18-arched stone and cast iron aqueduct towers 126 feet over the Dee Valley – so it may be advisable to fill your stomach after you’ve crossed it by foot or by boat.
The fare may be simple and basic at Butty and Sweet, but the food is cooked fresh and served quickly with a friendly service.
Mandy and Dave man the kitchen at the bow of the narrowboat, making the most of their confined space to cook a range of paninis and omelettes.
I went for an omelette which came with a variety of fillings. The bacon, feta and mushroom proved a tasty combination in an omelette that hit the spot for the right amount of time spent in the pan.
While I was washing it down with a creamy mocha there was a touch of choppiness that reminded me of my nautical setting.
The wind was getting up on a raincast day, but my stomach still felt steady enough to contemplate a pudding.
There was a varied choice, including lemon cake and bakewell tart, and I opted for the latter served in custard.
It really did hit the spot and was rather excellent.
Butty and Sweet also serve a range of sandwiches, drinks and speciality teas from a serving hatch if you are in a hurry and haven’t got the time to step on board.
But it is well worth taking the time to look around the visitor centre next door and make the most of Pontcysyllte which is earmarked for a major expansion in future years.
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