The second best thing about walking – snacks!

Growing up near both the Lake and Peak Districts, it was inevitable I would become a keen walker. There is something uniquely wonderful about that first bite or sip after working up an appetite on a ramble. I took a look into the science behind this phenomenon recently and discovered there is more to it than you might expect.

The Palmers Greenery Community Cafe where I volunteer greets walkers every shift, as part of organised groups or on self-guided trails, so I get to see that moment of delight time and time again. It turns out it is not just a case of craving energy. Hunger also changes our neural circuitry connected to taste! When peckish, our sensitivity to sweet and salty flavours can be heightened and our response to bitterness, dampened. By working up an appetite walkers get to not only enjoy the awesome sights, sounds and rhythms of their route but the intense flavours of their snacks as well!

Pete Davey delivers Nordic Walking (using specially designed poles to work the upper body and give a full body workout) and TIDE (Training In a Different Environment) fitness sessions in Broomfield Park. He and his clients call in at the Cafe most days because, he tells me, along with our warm welcome the coffee and cake provides a much-needed booster after their exercise.

Much like the Walking Post, the Palmers Greenery Community Cafe was established by a group of friends to make a positive impact in the community. Situated in Broomfield Park in Palmers Green for the past 10 years, it is powered by volunteers and reinvests its profits into well-being projects – working in partnership with the Friends of Broomfield Park and the Palmers Greenery Action Team to provide a community hub and skills platform for the area.

Thirsty travellers (and their four-legged friends) can access free tap water at the Cafe, alongside our offering of cakes, bakes and snacks, and hot and chilled beverages. A particular favourite among our walking customers is the Earl Grey Fruit Cake made by local bakery Holtwhites. Perhaps their heightened neural circuitry enables them to detect each spice in the blend of this scrumptious bake!

Now that the Cafe sits along the Walking Post’s North to South London Trail I look forward to topping up the water bottles of even more intrepid strollers and sharing thoughts on the perfect Trail treat! Visit our webpage for opening times – www.fobp.uk/community-cafe

by Katherine Howlett

I am a communications professional and regular volunteer. I have endless enthusiasm for walking, squash, gardening and gaming. Nothing makes me happier than a delicious plate of food.

Related posts

Walking With Cancer

Walking With Cancer

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2022, there were, not surprisingly, a lot of...

Navigating Norfolk

Navigating Norfolk

I upped sticks and moved from South London to Norfolk last summer (yes I am one of THOSE people!)....

Lincoln Trails

Lincoln Trails

Last weekend, Lucy and I were lucky enough to be invited to the historic city of Lincoln by the...

An Unlikely Munroist

An Unlikely Munroist

Editor’s note: A Munro (for the uninitiated) is any Scottish mountain over 3,000 feet high. A...