Nice coffee at the Marina

Portishead Marina

It was a nice sunny day, so we headed to Portishead to have a walk around the marina (and probably stop for a coffee).

We ended up at Cafe Mokoko which has a few branches across the West.

I had a cortado and an almond croissant.

They were served in weird cups; I think they were bamboo. Despite that the coffee was excellent.

I really liked the almond croissant. Usually when I have an almond croissant it consists of a croissant stuffed with almond paste and almonds on top. Though this croissant had almonds on top, the croissant itself had a delicious almond taste as though the paste was incorporated into the dough before baking.

Really delicious.

Certainly a place I would try again.

Illy Cortado

I had enjoyed the Capo Triestino I had had at the Illy Cafe up in Clifton. So on a recent visit to the area, I visited the Illy Cafe and this time I ordered a Cortado.

It probably wasn’t a Cortado, as this is a Spanish drink, and it wasn’t on the menu, when I looked. However the staff said they could make a Cortado. I took a seat and they brought the coffee over to my table.


It was a very nice coffee.

Chirk Castle Coffee

Chirk Castle

I made a visit to the National Trust’s Chirk Castle close to Wrexham. Partly to have a coffee, but also to see the castle.

A 13th-century Marcher castle, that from 1595 became the home of the Myddelton family for over 400 years.

The castle was an English castle (now in Wales) that became a family home. Swapping sides during the English Civil War, it  sustained serious structural damage from a parliamentary force in 1659 and underwent a major rebuild.

Chirk remained in the Myddelton family until it was transferred to the National Trust in 1981.

The cafe is located in the castle’s historic kitchens, and when I headed to the additional seating I really liked the environment. The additional seating room was in one  of the towers.

The flat white was expertly made, and really good. It was a lovely place to sit and drink coffee.

flat white coffee on a table

It was nice that the cafe was in the heart of the castle, many time when visiting National Trust properties the cafe is more often than not, in one of the outbuildings, usually the stable.

Jimmy and the Bee

I was in London and had a meeting in the afternoon, so I walked up to City, University of London. 

I arrived earlier than planned, so I went to Jimmy and the Bee, which is close by, and ordered a flat white. They took my order and I took a seat.

Jimmy and the Bee looks to be an independent cafe, which predominantly sells tea and coffee. There were some cakes and pastries on the counter, and I saw board with some breakfast items (avocado on toast).  The furniture is distressed wood, but there are also some comfortable looking sofas as well.

My flat white arrived.

flat white

In some other places this may have been described as a Cortado. It was a really nice coffee and I enjoyed it.

I also got a 10% discount; I think they thought I was City staff as I was wearing my work lanyard.

The Vyne

The Vyne

I made a quick visit to the National Trust’s The Vyne in Hampshire. Partly to have a coffee, but also to see the house.

A former Tudor powerhouse turned 17th century family home, set in gardens, woodlands, and wetlands.

The house was an interesting mix of medieval cellars, Tudor palace, and a 17th century family home.

After visiting the house and walking around the grounds I headed to the café for a coffee and something to eat. I went to the café, with the intention of having lunch, but the choice wasn’t inspiring. I didn’t fancy the cream of celeriac soup either. As celeriac, tastes like celery, and I really don’t like celery I knew I probably wouldn’t enjoy the soup.

So, I had a flat white and a cheese scone. The coffee was expertly made, and it was really nice. I enjoyed it. I was pleased it came in a proper china cup. The scone was okay, a little small I thought, but it was certainly cheesy.

Can’t Dance Coffee

I can’t dance, and I like coffee, so it wasn’t too surprising that I would end up in a place called Can’t Dance Coffee in Weston-super-Mare.

The Sovereign Centre is a shopping centre in Weston-super-Mare, which opened in 1992. There was a cafe when the place opened. At some point it became a Druckers cafe. Druckers was there for much of that time, serving cakes and coffee.

£500,000 was spent by in 2016 to create the six-unit food hall, with the hope of ‘transforming’ the shopping centre and luring national firms. Well, that didn’t work, as no one except Druckers took an outlet. Even then Druckers left two years later.

Back in 2000 on the Twitter I wrote this in response to this question:

What’s the worst shopping centre in the UK?

I said it has a food court with NO food outlets to buy food from! 

The health centre idea never happened, instead some of the empty shopping outlets became a business hub, with offices and desks.

The food court area, once more underwent a refurbishment and it does now have a food outlet. It is now the Can’t Dance Coffee cafe.

I rarely spend time shopping in Weston, as there isn’t too much choice of shops, so usually I am in and out, having been to specific outlet. However, this time I was picking up my daughter, I had some time, so went for a coffee, and decided to give Can’t Dance Coffee a try. So, I ordered a flat white.

Service was a little slow, but I got my coffee in the end and sat down. It looked like they knew what they were doing.

The environment is rather industrial and stark. There were some sofas, but the main seating was hard chairs or chipboard benches. As a result I think the place lacks any kind of warmth or character. It feels spartan and cold, it was also quite dark. It certainly wasn’t inviting.

The coffee was nice, and I enjoyed it. However when going out to drink coffee, there is so much more to the experience than just drinking coffee. There is ambiance, the physicalness of the space, the seating, chairs, tables, sofas, and the lighting.

Would I go again, probably not.

Time for a flat white

We were visiting the National Trust’s Wightwick Manor in the West Midlands.

Victorian half-timbered Manor House which was home of the Mander family, with a world-class art collection and Morris and Co. interiors.

After visiting the house and walking around the grounds we headed to the cafe for a coffee.

I ordered a flat white, but wasn’t tempted by the cakes.

The coffee was expertly made, and it was really nice. I enjoyed it. I was pleased it came in a proper china cup.


Never had one of these before!

I had a coffee I have never had before. I was up in Clifton and went to the Illy Cafe.

After a nice warm welcome I ordered the Capo Triestino. I took a seat and they brought the coffee over to me.

Capo Triestino

So what is a Capo Triestino?

An illy espresso with abundant cold emulsified milk served in a small Freddo glass.

I do like Illy coffee and really enjoyed this. I don’t get to Clifton very often these days, so think it will be a while before I can make a return visit. Hopefully not too long.

Pretty Coffee

We were up in the Mall doing some shopping and decided to stop for some coffee. In the basement was the John Lewis espresso bar, which I have visited a fair few times before. More recently it has been revamped and is now a branch of Ori Caffé.

Ori Caffé is a partnership between John Lewis and Massarella, a family run business with Italian origins. Massarella dates all the way back to 1864, when the family came over from Italy with a view to move to America.

The cafe area has been re-decorated, and their is a Mediterranean inspired menu sandwiches, and more traditional British cakes, as well as Italian cannoli.

As we entered it was a little awkward, in that we had to wait to be seated, but it wasn’t table service, you went up to the counter to order your food and drinks. I ordered a tea, a flat white, a vegetarian sausage roll, and a cheese and ham rarebit.

We took a seat and waited for our food and drinks to arrive.

My flat white looked very pretty.

It was an excellent coffee, which I enjoyed. The tea was very nice too.

The rarebit, was not a rarebit. It was a cheese and ham sourdough toastie. 

It needed a lot more cheese, and to be a rarebit, needed a cheese sauce. The ham was good quality though. Overall I did enjoy the toastie.

The vegetarian sausage roll was rather good, or so I was told.

Overall it was a nice place for coffee and the food was tasty.

Cardboard Cortado Coffee

I was out waiting to pick up my daughter, and I had some time to kill. I decided to get a coffee from Costa on Marchfields Way.

I was intending to have coffee and cake. They were very short on cakes, so I just had a cortado. I had a free coffee on the app, so it didn’t cost me anything.

My main issue was that, I was drinking in, but they still served me my coffee in a takeaway cardboard cup. I prefer my coffee in a real cup, and actually will make the time for a coffee, rather than do take out. However the choice was coffee in a takeaway cardboard cup, or no coffee. As I wanted a coffee, I took the takeaway cardboard cup.

The coffee was quite nice though.