Time for tea and a scone

So there we were visiting the Cadbury Garden Centre, in Congresbury in North Somerset. We have been going there for years for garden stuff, other stuff and usually we stop for coffee and cake, or tea and a scone.

Of course with the restrictions in place, they have been forced to close their eating places. So it was nice this weekend with the easing of restrictions that we could go for tea and a scone in their cafe.

They had taken the time during lockdown to refurbish their cafe areas They have gone for a retro Victorian tearoom look to their eating area, Costa has gone and they now resemble posh tearooms. They are very white and bright.

It might be a Blue Diamond thing, as on a recent visit to Sanders Garden Centre they were also refurbishing their eating areas, in a similar but not quite the same style.

They had also lost their Costa franchise as well.

So back to Cadbury, with some restrictions still in place they have moved to table service. So you choose your own table and when you are ready to order you show a green card!

We got promptly served, we chose a tea and coffee, well a flat white, and shared a cream scone. We paid there and then which was convenient.

The service was quite fast, but they did in fact forget our scone as they hadn’t read their ticket properly. The fact that it was the manager who had forgotten was quite amusing, as she told us, she is always telling the staff to read their tickets properly!

The flat white was really good, nice and strong. The tea was served in a lovely china pot and a matching cup and saucer.

The scone was nice and fresh, fluffy and light and came with jam and cream, but no butter. It was rather nice and tasty. We weren’t rushed and after we had finished we went to do some plant shopping.

Very nice

To actually go out for a coffee, now that’s not something I’ve done in a long time.

I was in Exeter today and I went to Chandos Deli and ordered a flat white. In many ways it was more like a cortado than a flat white, but it was was served in a proper glass (not a paper cup). Yes I had to sit outside, but the sun was shining, so was really lovely.

Yes I have had a real coffee from a real coffee place sitting outside and enjoying every mouthful. 

Very nice.

Relaxing Coffee

basement in Java U

There is a real nice cafe, Java U, on Praed Street, it’s a place I either visit just after I arrive at Paddington or whilst waiting for a train from Paddington.

Java U on Praed Street close to Paddington

There is always a lovely warm welcome and the coffee is excellent.

FLat White from Java U

There isn’t a huge amount of room inside on the main floor, but there is a basement which has a lot more space.

The last time I was in London was at the beginning of March, so I’ve not been since then. I am looking forward to the time I can go back and have a nice coffee.

Quick Coffee Number One

With the new imminent lockdown coming on Thursday I took the the time and the opportunity to pop out to Weston town centre to do some shopping.

Wanting a coffee, I popped to one of my favourite regular haunts for coffee in Weston which is Coffee #1.

I first bumped into the Coffee #1 chain in Monmouth one lunch time a fair few years ago now. I thought at the time it was an independent, didn’t realise it was a chain.

Their branch in Weston opened shortly after that visit to Monmouth, so it became a place to go for coffee after shopping or after a walk along the seafront.

I ordered my flat white and they also had a vegan scone with cream (I know) and jam for half price, so I decided to have a coffee and a scone.

The scone was somewhat heavy, but I still enjoyed it.

The coffee was excellent, smooth milk and great tasting coffee. I was slightly disappointed that I had finished it, I think I might have had another one.

Piaggio Coffee

I was at a conference at The Brewery in London many years ago now, and it was a great conference. However the coffee was awful, I don’t think I have ever had decent coffee at a conference.

What was great about this conference though was outside the venue was a coffee cart based in the back of a Piaggio van. It had a full espresso machine in there.

Piaggio Coffee

It was great coffee and nice to get out from the venue during the breaks as well.

Lidl Coffee Ice Cream

Lidl Coffee Ice Cream

As part of their Flavours of Italy week Lidl were selling a small 99p tub of Coffee Ice Cream. In previous Italy weeks we have bought these tubs, so kind of knew what to expect.

They are not huge tubs, but what you get is a tasty creamy coffee ice cream, with a little chocolate in there as well.

We also like the amaretto tub and the lemon sorbet one is nice too.

222

I was actually going to have a flat white at Caffe Nero in Cheltenham, but it was way too busy.

Near enough next door is 222 and it looked rather nice inside.

There are wooden floors, wood on the walls and comfortable seating.

We went upstairs and due to social distancing measure it wasn’t as cosy as I thought it could be, but still a nice environment, with more wood and industrial lighting.

A warm friendly welcome and I ordered my Flat White.  This was served promptly.

The coffee was great, good tasting coffee with the right feel and texture of a flat white.

I don’t go to Cheltenham very often, even less now with lockdown restrictions, so I think it might be sometime before I get back to have another coffee at 222.

Time to visit the Green Coffee Machine again

Green Coffee Machine

The last visit to the Green Coffee Machine in Cheltenham was back in 2013 in my final month of working at Gloucestershire College. That previous visit was also my first visit to the Green Coffee Machine. I really enjoyed the coffee and toast I had back then.

Overall I did quite like the atmosphere, the service was excellent, the coffee was great, if you don’t mind a slighty confused design and decor and avoid the toast, then it’s a really nice place to spend time drinking coffee.

Having changed jobs and no longer working regularly in Cheltenham, I didn’t think I would ever have coffee at the Green Coffee Machine again.

So it was nice the other day when I was in Cheltenham and I had to kill time before my train, I went for a coffee at the Green Coffee Machine. I wasn’t sure if it was still going to be there, as it had been a fair few years and independent coffee shops don’t always survive. So it was nice to see that it was still open and serving coffee.

It was a slightly different experience to my last one, mainly as Covid-19 had changed how they operate and the layout of the place.

There was a warm and friendly welcome from the staff. I ordered my coffee, once it was made I sat at a table. The coffee was excellent and just what I needed. I was slightly disappointed that even though I was drinking in, it was served in a paper cup. Not sure if this was standard policy, or that it was only an hour until closing time. If I am drinking in, I would like a proper cup for my coffee please.

I think the decor has improved considerably as well, so was a pleasant place to drink coffee.

I don’t know if it will be back, but I certainly will  make the effort the next time I am in Cheltenham to have another coffee at the Green Coffee Machine.

Sorry that’s not a flat white!

I was a little disappointed today.

We were visiting the VUE cinema at Cribbs Causeway, to see a film. I thought I would like a coffee, and I could see the Lavazza brand, so I asked if they could do me a flat white? They said yes.

However as I watched them make it I was not impressed.

They did the espresso coffee and then topped it off with hot water and finished with some cold milk.

Sorry that’s not a flat white!

I did reject it and they tried again., this time they managed with a little guidance from me, get it right.

I did actually quite enjoy the coffee, however if I hadn’t watched them make it I would have been very disappointed. The fact it was quite expensive at £3.49, would have made me even more disappointed if I didn’t get what I ordered and paid for.

I shouldn’t be too surprised, I am always a bit wary of cinema food and drink. It’s usually overpriced and often not very good.

Next time, have coffee before I get to the cinema.

Flat White at Chatterton’s

I went to the my office in Bristol, the first time since March that I’ve been in the office, actually been anywhere for work apart from my desk in the house.

I did think about catching the train, but in the end drove to Bristol, parked and walked the rest of the way to the office. It was nice and sunny so was rather pleasant. It was an easy drive into Bristol and there was minimal traffic. Very few people around as well, unlike when I have walked to the office before.

I stopped for coffee at Chatterton’s Café, it’s right next door to our office, almost too close when I was working in the office pre-lockdown, as I quite liked a walk before sitting down and doing some work as I enjoyed my coffee.

I was looking forward to sitting down and having a coffee, however it was takeaway only and they were serving through their kitchen window. Nice coffee though.