We might normally be expert pub crawlers, but yesterday we put all that behind us & devised our very own Somerset cool 'coffee shop crawl' - a day-long, whistle-stop try-out of the many cafés in beautiful Bath. We came, we drank, we caffeined (made up word alert) & then we argued about which places were our absolute favourites. After a very heated exchange over a big slab of chocolate fudge cake, we agreed on our fab four & in a world full of big corporate coffee chains, we felt glad that these guys are alive!
Anyway, here they are in no particular order - but they are in deliberately bite-sized chunks:
1. Colonna & Small's - 6 Chapel Row
It might sound as if we've lost the plot when we say this, but Colonna & Small's is all about the coffee. Co-owner Maxwell is the U.K. barista champion & a world finalist in 2012, 2014 & 2015, so the passion for coffee shows as soon as you walk through the front door. This place is about brewing & offering the very best, anywhere, ever!
Coffee selections change weekly to take in to account the seasonality of coffee growing, but don't worry if this all sounds a bit much & you're normally not the 'fret over the difference between coffee beans' type! I'm not either, but we absolutely loved the experience at Colonna & Small's. Our friendly barista was happy to chat us through the different tastes & processes & in short, I learned something, I liked it & I got a damn fine cup of coffee! Twin Peaks' Agent Cooper would've been proud.
Our review in 3 words: "speciality coffee heaven".
2. Cascara Café - 3 Upper Borough Walls
Cascara is small but perfectly formed - a cool little gem of a coffee shop, where smooth blends meet quirky decor & a really warm welcome. If you want to chill out on a coffee sack beanbag whilst sipping your flat white, then Cascara is the place for you! And anywhere that serves fresh juice with tiny umbrellas & a straw, gets our vote. There's an impressive selection of homemade gluten free cakes on offer too.
With just a couple of places to perch downstairs, upstairs is a relaxed haven for about 12 people... & that's part of the Cascara charm. It's not huge, you feel lucky to find a seat & when you do, it's like you're round at a friends house - a friend that's mastered latte art of course!
Our review in three words: "small and special".
3. Café Lucca at The Loft - 1 Bartlett Street
We've got a big soft spot for Café Lucca - a really lovely café in the heart of the Bartlett Street Quarter. It takes up around half of the ground floor of concept shop, The Loft, so if you're that way inclined, (I am) you can browse your way around some cool homewares before grabbing a table. It's a great spot to watch the world of Bath go by, if you bag a seat near the windows. They're floor to ceiling by the way, so the space is flooded with natural light.
Anyway, we love the coffee - roasted by Cliftons of Bristol. We love the selection of salads, panini, bruschetta & homemade cakes... & we love the feel of the place. It's relaxed, contemporary style & friendly staff make it a really popular haunt & it delivers the unique buzz of Bath by the bucketload.
Our review in 3 words: "relaxed, stylish coffee-stop" (yeah we're claiming coffee-stop is one word, so there!)
4. The Green Rocket Café - 1 Pierrepont Street
Ahhh - a great little vegetarian & vegan independent café, run by vegans who are passionate about tasty veggie food & great coffee (it's a Cliftons of Bristol roast too). The Green Rocket's the sort of place we'd love to spend Sunday morning in, reading the papers. It's a little slice of meat-free paradise in the heart of Bath & it's spread over 3 rooms. The first room's our favourite, with it's big windows, wooden bar & lovely views of the abbey. If you choose the cracking vegetarian breakfast, or the mushroom & rice burger with halloumi, you won't go far wrong!
The café also sells screen prints by Anna Harley & look out for the light shades made from mini colanders! That's our kind of touch :) It's dog friendly too & we were pleased to meet a very happy dachshund whilst we were there. All in all, it's a bit of a diamond!
Our review in 3 words: A meat-free marvel :)
(my blog layout won't let me add any pics here for now. Naughty blog!)