Get On Track With Coffee

Following on from my last post about new coffee shops I am pleased to write about another two new places. These two coffee shops are not situated in Durban but in Hilton (the gateway to the Midlands) and in Lions River. What makes these two special is that they are both at former train stations.



train station


Station Stop Coffee Shop opened in December 2019 and is owned by David Ballance of Country Ground Coffee. The coffee shop is situated inside the wonderful old Hilton Railway Station which also houses the museum. The station was built in 1888 and several scenes of Cry the Beloved Country were also filmed there. The revitalization of the railway station has been a community driven project with help from the Hilton Steam Heritage Association. The museum building was renovated, painted and landscaping done. Like Station Stop Coffee Shop on Facebook so that you can see what events are happening at the station eg Station Stoep Market. A new shop will be opening at the station soon – Fatpig Smokehouse – artisanal meat products of high quality.

It was a cool and raining morning when I visited the coffee shop with my Mom, Sister and Daughter. We were on our mini Midlands Meander which we do every year when my sister is down from Jhb. Our first or second stop of our meandering is always for coffee. The only one who didn’t know we were stopping at the Hilton Station was my Mom and she was thrilled as she loves old railway stations. It is also a family thing because my Great Grandfather was the station master at Botha’s Hill station and my Grandmother was born in the station master’s house. The coffee shop was cosy and we were warmly welcomed. We ordered three cappuccinos and my daughter decided to keep herself warm with hot chocolate. We also ordered two delicious muffins to share. The walls are covered with memorabilia such as framed photos, newspaper clippings and railway items such as lamps. We enjoyed reading some of the historical events that have happened at the Hilton Station. The cappuccino was expertly made and at drinking temperature and since it was so enjoyable I decided to order another one. I look forward to making a stop at Station Stop Coffee Shop the next time I am in Hilton.


train station



Opening Times : Monday to Friday 7:30am – 4pm, Saturday and Sunday 6:30am – 2pm

Seating : 40 seats. 30 in very wet weather. Seating inside and on the verandah.

Menu : Light meals. Range of muffins including a Vegan one. Toasted sour dough sandwiches. Keto cheesecake and a healthy carrot cake.

Milk Alternatives : Almond milk

Wifi : Yes

Plug Points : Yes

Child Friendly : Yes but please note steps and railway lines. Children can climb onto the train parked there but only under adult supervision.

Dog Friendly : Yes

Environmentally Conscious : Yes. All takeaway packaging is from Greenhome

Coffee : Roasted by Manna Roastery in Hilton

Coffee Beans for Sale : Yes. Two size Consol jars. There is a R25 deposit for the jars and you can then bring them back and buy a refill of coffee beans.

Other products for Sale : Full cream Jersey raw milk, Sour Dough and Ciabatta bread and Glass travel keep cups.

Contact  : Dave 083 289 3094







train station


VT Coffee Café – Midlands started trading in December 2019 and is situated not far from the Nelson Mandela Capture Site. This is their second cafe with the first being the Village Tavern Coffee Café in Margate. The Midlands cafe has a great location right next to the Lions River Station which is also home to The Platform (contains work from local artists and craftsmen). VT Coffee Café is housed in a shipping container with an upper deck and another covered area to the side. A lot of the timber used in the construction is reclaimed and timber off-cuts.

It was chilly with drizzle when we parked outside The Platform and went inside to look at the incredible artwork. Magnificent bronzes, artfully constructed lights, leather items, Nguni products and other home decor. Make sure you have plenty of time to have a good look around. The Platform will be holding regular events supporting local musicians so like their Facebook page to keep up to date.


train station


After our oohing and aahing over the incredible artwork we followed the pathway to VT Coffee Café. If it had been a sunny day I would have loved to sit on the upper deck but instead we chose the table inside the container.  The table is also near the counter so it was perfect for taking photos of the lovely ladies when they made the cappuccinos. I took too long to take photos of the coffee so by the time I came to drink it, it was slightly on the cool side – totally my fault. Hopefully it will be a lovely sunny day when I visit next time. I’m very keen to have one of their Hertzoggies with a cappuccino. The cafe is an excellent addition to the coffee scene in the Midlands.

NOTE : VT Coffee Café is a cannabis cafe in line with the new constitutional court judgement handed down. They have a variety of CBD products available such as Nature’s Releaf and PlantMed and have had excellent feed back on everything from oil drops, skin balms to CBD pet biscuits. They are not medical practitioners nor do they prescribe any medicines. They simply have the products available and information on each product. For R15.oo you can have drops of CBD oil added to your cappuccino.


train station


Opening Times : Monday to Friday 7am – 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 6am – 5pm

Seating : 28 in total. 16 when there is hard rain.

Menu : Light meals – extra large muffins, quiche, sandwich options and sweet treats such as Hertzoggies. No-Cheat treats such as choc nut bark, Protein bliss balls and Choc fudge squares. Vegan friendly and gluten free options. Smoothie bowls coming soon.

Milk Alternatives : Yes – Almond milk and Rice milk

Wifi : Yes, no limit. Please order something should you wish to connect to the wifi.

Plug Points : Indoor and outdoor plug points.

Child Friendly : Yes downstairs. Upstairs is a private smoking deck, no under 18’s allowed. Please note that the coffee shop is not fenced off from the road.

Dog Friendly : Yes and have fresh water available.

Environmentally Conscious : Yes. Biodegradable coffee cups and lids for takeaways. Coffee grinds used for compost or for making a homemade exfoliating scrub.

Coffee : From Terbodore. The Mac Espresso blend.

Coffee Beans for Sale : Coffee beans and Ground coffee from Terbodore. 250g and 1kg bags of the Mac Espresso blend and 250g bags of other Terbodore blends.

Other Products for Sale : Locally made jams and preserves. CBD products.

Generator : Yes

Contact  : Rob or Skye 072 729 2621






Author: Nicola Meyer

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