Stan’s Bike Shack

The logo from the sign outside of Stan's Bike Shed in West Sussex.Stan’s Bike Shack has been on my radar for almost all of its 4½ years of existence. Between the villages of Partridge Green and Bines Green in West Sussex, it’s on the Downs Link, a 37 mile cycle route from St Martha’s Hill, near my home in Guildford, to Shoreham-by-Sea on the south coast. Heading south, Stan’s Bike Shed is about ⅔ of the way along, slightly too far for me to walk in a day, which might explain why it’s taken me so long to visit.

Stan’s Bike Shack is one of those places where the name pretty much says it all. It’s a shack (and a very nice one at that) located just off the road linking the two villages, which welcomes cyclists and walkers. It serves Craft House Coffee on espresso and batch-brew, with all-day breakfasts, sandwiches and cake, all prepared in the open kitchen behind the counter.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Stan's Bike Shack, just off the road between Partridge Green and Bines Green.
  • It's well signposted, so there's no excuse for missing it. And it's right on the Downs Link.
  • Nice sign.
  • You'll find the acutal shack off to the right of the lane. The car is a mobile bike workshop.
  • Another sign. There really is no excuse for not knowing where you are.
  • Okay. I think we get the message.
  • This sign is, at least, more informative... Sort of.
  • The shack itself is at the back on the left, with outdoor seating in front of it.
  • There are a pair of large, wooden picnic tables with benches on a paved area...
  • ... with more seating in front of that, off to your left as you enter.
  • There are two more picnic tables here, with two four-person metal tables alongside them.
  • There is also a rather splendid tree which, in the summer, is, I imagine, very shady.
  • There's more seating to the right of the shack...
  • ... starting with these three benches opposite the shack.
  • The shack itself, it all its glory, with three more metal tables out front.
  • There's plenty of space for bike parking...
  • ... which extends around to the rear of the shack, where you'll also find the toilet.
  • There's even a company bike!
  • The door is towards the front on the right-hand side of the shack.
  • Naturally there a spare pump, in case you have a flat tire, plus there's a dog bowl...
  • ... while hung up on the wall are some spare bike locks in case you've forgotten yours.
  • Let's go in.
  • The seating starts against the front wall of the shack, with this...
  • ... L-shaped bench, which continues along the left-hand wall.
  • It's followed by three two-person tables, the first two of which you can see here.
  • Finally, there's a pair of round, three-person tables like this one in the middle.
  • The last of the seating is provided by this very narrow four-person bar along the wall.
  • Fittingly, for a Bike Shack, there are various cycling bits and bobs for sale.
  • Meanwhile, this notice board gives away the other passion of owner, Steve: music.
  • The theme is continued with the poster next to the clock, high up on the gable end.
  • Obligatory light-fitting shot.
  • The counter is at the far end of Stan's Bike Shack. You'll find the till here on the left...
  • ... and the cakes on the right, with an open kitchen behind the counter...
  • ... preparing food from the menu which is up on the gable end at the back.
  • Nice slogan, by the way.
  • If you want coffee, Stan has his own counter off to the left (you still order at the till).
  • The menu is on the wall behind the espresso machine...
  • ... while the grinders (house-blend & decaf) are off to the left. There's also batch-brew.
  • Team photo, with Stan (aka Steve) on the left.
  • My breakfast: an egg roll (fried egg on a wholemeal bap)
  • My coffee: a flat white made with the bespoke house-blend from Craft House Coffee.
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If you’re cycling/hiking the Downs Link, stopping at Stan’s Bike Shack is pretty much obligatory. Other than that, getting there will be your biggest problem since the Shack is geared towards cyclists and walkers, with no on-site parking. If you are driving, your best option is to park in the village (Partridge Green) and take the 10-minute walk south.

Stan’s Bike Shack is well-signposted, at the start of a private lane on the left-hand side of the road. Turing right, you enter a large yard/paddock, with the Shack at the back on the left. There’s a large, outdoor seating area to your left, with four large, wooden picnic tables and two smaller, square metal tables. Next comes the shack itself, a single-roomed rectangular building with an open, A-frame roof, short side facing forwards, with the door near the front along the long side on the right.

There are another three square, metal tables on a paved area alongside the shack plus three garden benches opposite it against the boundary hedge. Naturally, there’s ample bike parking, as well as spare locks and a handy pump.

Inside, the counter is at the back, a narrow four-person bar running along the wall just to the right of the door, while you file along to get the till. There’s an L-shaped bench along front wall, extending a short way down the left-hand wall. This has a pair of four-person tables along the front wall and a two-person table along the left-hand wall. This is followed along left-hand wall by three two-person tables, with two round three-person tables in the middle.

When it comes to coffee, Stan’s Bike Shack uses nearby Craft House Coffee, with a bespoke Brazil/Colombian blend on espresso and a single-origin (a Brazilian during my visit) on batch-brew. There’s an all-day breakfast menu (consisting of items such as egg & bacon baps) as well as a range of sandwiches on ciabatta rolls or brown/white bread. All the food is prepared in the kitchen behind the right-hand side of the counter, where you’ll also find the cake and the till (both on the counter).

Meanwhile, off to the left, on a little counter of his own, you’ll find Stan behind the two-group La Marzocco Linea espresso machine. Except his name’s Steve, Stan being a nickname from his youth. Stan’s Bike Shack combines Steve’s twin passions of coffee and cycling with his third, music, the shack hosting gigs on occasional evenings, when up to 40 people can squeeze in!

I stopped off at Stan’s Bike Shack one Saturday morning for some coffee and a second breakfast on my way to Brighton & Hove. I had an egg roll (fried egg on a wholemeal bap) which was perfect, while the coffee came strongly through the milk in my flat white. It had quite a strong kick to it at first, but mellowed thereafter.

I was extremely glad to have finally visited Stan’s Bike Shack. Hopefully it won’t be another 4½ years before my next visit!

THE OLD FARM SHOP • BINES ROAD • HORSHAM • RH13 8EQ
https://stansbikeshack.com +44 (0) 1403 710 514
Monday CLOSED Roaster Craft House Coffee (espresso + batch-brew)
Tuesday 09:00 – 16:00 Seating Tables, Bar; Tables, Benches (outside)
Wednesday 09:00 – 16:00 Food Breakfast, Sandwiches, Cake
Thursday 09:00 – 16:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 09:00 – 16:00 Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 08:30 – 16:30 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 08:30 – 16:30 Power No
Chain No Visits 22nd December 2018

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