Ditto Coffee

When I am in a new city or town, though familiarity normally means visiting a place like Caffe Nero for a coffee, if I do get the chance, I do like to try somewhere new, such as Kiss the Hippo in London.

Up in Manchester, back in May 2022, close to our office, I liked the look of Ditto Coffee so popped in for a coffee. It was a delicious cup of coffee and I really enjoyed it.

So it wasn’t too surprising when I was back in Manchester and wanting a coffee I headed back to Ditto for a coffee.

This time though I ordered a Cortado and a cake, as part of a special deal.

The coffee was excellent (again) and I really enjoyed it (again). The caramel slice was rather good too. I was tempted to stay for another, but needed to get back to work. I will visit again.

Cheese Games

Met up with some friends at The Stable Game Room for a coffee and a bite to eat (oh and to play a game).

The Stable Game Room has many board games you can play, as well as serving food, alcoholic drinks and coffee.

I had an espresso, which was a little harsh to be honest, so much so I had to add sugar and I generally never do that to coffee. However when I was in Italy in the 1990s I would see quite a few Italians do that, so still felt I was being honest with myself.

I wasn’t that hungry, so I had the Cheese Deli Board, expecting to share it with the table.

The board was quite plentiful with cheddar, red Leicester, stilton and brie. Alongside was apples, grapes, pickle, pickled onions and cornichons. With this came bread and crackers. 

I had to ask for butter though. It was a big board and there was lots of cheese. I have to say though, the cheese was nothing to write home about, the sort of cheese you could find in any supermarket. The cheddar was quite bland in comparison to the mature cheddar I usually have. Nice to have some stilton with the dish.

For a little more money you can have a cheese and ham board. Not sure if this means the same amount of cheese and then ham, or less cheese and some ham!

Our table also had a couple of pizzas. They have a pizza oven and used fresh dough, so the pizza looked excellent and according to those that ate them, they were delicious.

Certainly would do a return visit.

Now you can get Pret at home

I am not really a fan of coffee from Pret, I think it’s probably more down to the fact they only serve coffee in disposable paper cups. If I am going to get a coffee out and about, and I am going to sit down, then I really want a proper china cup for my coffee.

However I noticed on a recent visit to B&M that you can get Pret Nespresso capsules. So you can drink Pret at home and you can use a proper cup.

Pret coffee capsules

Pret are not the only high street chain to do this, Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero also sell their capsules in supermarkets.

Time for a German Flat White

I was staying in Berlin for a few days attending a conference. The last time I had been to Germany was in 1985 staying for a couple of days in Munich on the way back from a camp in Yugoslavia. This was my first visit to Berlin and the first visit to a unified Germany.

I had various meals and snacks while I was there in Berlin. Though when it came to coffee I usually used the coffee machine in the hotel, but I did have a nice flat white at a branch of Einstein Kaffee. I was out and about walking around Berlin and did quite fancy a coffee. I had seen a Starbucks, but I hadn’t travelled to the heart of Europe for an American style coffee. I had seen a fair few branches of Einstein Kaffee across Berlin, so when I came across a branch I headed in and ordered a flat white.

I did think about having a cake, but nothing took my fancy and they all looked quite expensive. So, in the end I ordered just the coffee.

The place was quite busy, but I found a stool and sat down to drink my coffee.

It was a nice coffee. 

At the airport, time for a terrible coffee

I had been on a visit to Scotland and was making my way home via Edinburgh Airport. Having flown through security (for once) and mooching around the shops I decided to go for a coffee. I chose Caffe Nero as I usually get a decent coffee there and across their different branches at least a level of consistency.

I ordered a double macchiato, which is different to my usual flat white. It was served in a paper cup, despite the fact I was sitting in. I prefer my coffee in a real cup, and actually will make the time for a coffee, rather than do take out. I was reminded how nice it was to get a proper coffee at Bristol Airport on my way out, not just coffee in a cup, but also table service.

So I sat down with my cardboard cup and took the lid off. Was I impressed, no I wasn’t!

Now as far as I am aware a macchiato is an espresso coffee with some milk foam on top. What I got was an espresso coffee with milk! Not what I wanted and certainly not what I ordered.

I know I should have taken it back, but there was a huge queue and I didn’t really have the time.

Sometimes I have had to explain what a macchiato is to the barista I am ordering from, makes me wonder why they have it on the menu if they don’t know how to make it. 

Next time I will probably just order an espresso or a flat white and be done with it.

Coffee time at the Clyde Built Bar & Kitchen

SEC Glasgow

I was attending a conference at the SEC and wanted a coffee. I went to the Clyde Built Bar & Kitchen and ordered a double espresso. I asked for a china cup rather than a cardboard one. So they gave it to me in a cup, which I would have expected to have tea in!

The actual coffee was okay, but they needed to have warmed the cup first. I get the feeling that they didn’t make coffee properly very often.

I was a little surprised by the lack of coffee places and eateries around the SEC in Glasgow. There are plenty of hotels close by, and up the road on Argyle Street there are some really nice food and coffee places. However around the actual SEC there are only a couple. I think I was comparing it to the ICC in Birmingham where there is a much wider choice.

Time for coffee and toast

Bristol Airport

Generally I find airports busy places and not really somewhere I can sit calmly and relax. However I do I find the Cabin Bar at Bristol Airport a little haven of calmness in an otherwise hectic and busy environment.

I had some sourdough toast and a macchiato. The toast was toast, but it was nice that the butter was soft.

toast

The coffee was great and I really enjoyed it.

macchiato

I liked the table service, the proper china and the excellent service.

Yes it is a little more than Soho or Starbucks, but not my much to be honest and the fact that there is table service makes this a better choice for me.

Double Espresso

I was working in London and wanting a coffee so headed out to one of my usual haunts, Coco di Mama on New Square.

I ordered a double espresso and took a seat, always like it when they bring the coffee to you rather than hanging around by the counter until they’ve made it.

The coffee arrived in a real china cup with a square of delicious dark chocolate on the side.

Double Espresso

This was an excellent double espresso and I enjoyed the chocolate too.

Great tasting coffee and friendly staff.

Breakfast once more at the Fox and Goose

I was in London and staying again at the Fox and Goose close to Hangar Lane. 

On my last visit there I had a great breakfast and some good coffee. So I was expecting another great breakfast and the good coffee.

The breakfast was superb. It consisted of pork sausage, Mrs Owton’s bacon, Hampshire black pudding, grilled tomato & field mushroom, hash brown, Heinz baked beans, and two poached eggs. 

Alas the coffee machines were broken, so they had to revert to standard breakfast coffee, which was disappointing. Well the breakfast was excellent.

Breakfast at the Fox and Goose

I was in London and staying at the Fox and Goose close to Hangar Lane. This is a Fullers Hotel and is part of the same chain at Drayton Court, which I have stayed at for a few times now. When I was staying at the Drayton Court Hotel I had an excellent breakfast.

The breakfast plate was beautifully presented. The three rashers of bacon were cooked to my liking, not overdone, full of flavour. I enjoyed the sausage and the black pudding. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked, and had runny yolks. The field mushroom was delicious, though I would have liked my tomato a little more cooked. The beans and hash brown were nothing to write home about, but did help complete the breakfast plate. I really enjoyed the breakfast and is one of the best breakfasts I have had at a hotel. 

I did make one criticism of this otherwise excellent breakfast, which was about the coffee.

However one criticism, was the quality of the coffee, which was standard filter coffee, and not very good. 

I would have appreciated better coffee to go with such an excellent breakfast.

So when staying at the Fox and Goose, part of the same Fuller’s chain, I knew (and hoped) I would have a similar excellent breakfast.

Upon arriving in the breakfast room, I was given a warm welcome and shown to my table. I ordered the full English breakfast and they also cooked the toast, so no need to mess about with the breakfast room toaster that I normally have to contend with.

Coffee was from a machine, but was so much better than the filter coffee that was on offer at Drayton. I could have my morning double espresso.

I also had a nice pot of Greek yoghurt before the main event, and dressed with some honey, delicious.

The breakfast arrived and it consisted of pork sausage, Mrs Owton’s bacon, Hampshire black pudding, grilled tomato & field mushroom, hash brown, Heinz baked beans, and two poached eggs. 

Well as with Drayton Court, it was excellent. It was a great start to the day.