Nice macchiato, back then

The Coffee Dispensary

I had a nice coffee at The Coffee Dispensary in Cheltenham and was reminded that I had first visited the place back in August 2019, but hadn’t written about it.

Back then having had some lunch I wanted a coffee, so looked around and decided that though I could go somewhere like Caffe Nero, I quite liked the look of The Coffee Dispensary.

I went in and ordered a macchiato.

It came in a glass and looked great and tasted delicious.

At the time I had expected to be visiting Cheltenham on a regular basis for work, I was there again in January 2020. However the pandemic intervened and I didn’t get back to Cheltenham for work until May 2022. Though I did a social visit to Cheltenham in September 2020 when I had some nice coffee then as well.

Nice to be back

The Coffee Dispensary

I was in Cheltenham and had some time for a coffee. Wondering where to go I saw The Coffee Dispensary. I had been there in August 2019 and had a great macchiato back then (but didn’t blog about it). There is a nice calm environment, and they have seating inside and outside. As well as coffee they have a range of cakes and do sandwiches at lunchtime. I was a given a warm friendly welcome I ordered a flat white and took a seat. My flat white was brought over promptly. 

flat white

It was well made and a good coffee. Nice to be back.

Nice Flat White

I was at an event in East London. I had caught the Central Line to Mile End.

Having left myself plenty of time I stopped for coffee at the Costa opposite the station. I had a flat white.

There was plenty of room and I went upstairs and enjoyed my coffee whilst checking e-mail and doing some work.

Well that was a nice breakfast, pity about the coffee

Having had a delicious dinner the night before at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing,  I did have quite high expectations about the breakfast at the hotel.

I did wonder if this was going to be a buffet style breakfast, or one that you ordered at the table. In the end it was a bit of both. You helped yourself to drinks, toast, croissant, fruit, and so on. For hot food though you ordered off the menu. I ordered the full English which was pork sausage, Mrs Owton’s bacon, Hampshire black pudding, grilled tomato & field mushroom, hash brown, Heinz baked beans, and two poached eggs.  Well you could order the eggs anyway you wanted, but I went with poached.

full English 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. 

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.

Coffee and Croissant

We were out in Weston town and we went for a walk along the seafront before heading into Revo for coffee and tea. We has considered going to Coffee #1 or somewhere else in town, but in the end decided that we would head to Revo.

There was a bit of a queue, I did think initially we should go elsewhere, but I was convinced to stay in the queue. In the end it moved quite quickly.

We were warmly welcomed, asked if we were in for a meal or just for coffee. We were shown to our seats, well chairs and a sofa. The place was quite crowded and full of people ordering meals. I have to say I was a little surprised by how busy it was. 

We placed our order. I had a flat white and a plain croissant. It arrived very quickly. Originally I was going to have a cake (well it late morning), but in the end wanting something not sweet, I went with the croissant.

I enjoyed the coffee and the croissant was nice and fresh.

It was nice to have table service for coffee, rather than queuing and waiting which we would have had to do at Costa or Coffee #1. Nice views of the sea as well.

Excellent Eggs

Up in Manchester I joined a colleague for breakfast at the Federal Cafe Bar.

I really liked the atmosphere. We found a table and I went to the counter to order a coffee. Having had some toast at my hotel I only wanted the coffee.

My colleague with the Turkish Eggs. Two free range poached eggs on whipped garlic yoghurt with hot chilli butter and za’atar and served with sourdough toast.

Excellent Eggs

It looked amazing and my colleague said the eggs were excellent.

I had a great flat white.

Later I decided to go back there for a coffee, only to find the place full and no free seats. Well maybe next time I am in Manchester I will return for a coffee or even breakfast.

I needed a break and a coffee

Travelling back from Manchester I stopped off at the services for a break, stretch my legs and grab a coffee. Of all the services on the M6 and the M5 between Manchester and Weston-super-Mare, the services at Gloucester are my favourite.

These services are so different to virtually all the others on the motorway network. Unlike the mix of high street chains you seem to find at Welcome Break, Moto and Roadchef, the services at Gloucester are more like a farm shop.

There is a cafe area, with a range of food options, you can have proper meals, snacks, or coffee and cake. They also have a food to go area as well, for those in a rush with pies, sausages, sausage rolls and homemade burgers.

As well as the catering places, the services also have a big farm shop which is full of lots of stuff, including fresh meat and fish, bakery goods, deli stuff and cakes.

It is so different to the other services on the motorway network, you probably wouldn’t even realise that it was a motorway services area. The fact that they are also built into a hill also helps distinguish them totally from the others.

So needing that break, I stopped for a coffee, and ordered a flat white. It was very quiet, but I suspect that was down to the closure of the M5 a few junctions further down.

Another aspect of the services I like is that they have a lovely outdoor area. So I grabbed my coffee and went and sat outside in the sun. It was a little windy, but I found a sheltered table and enjoyed the view as I drank my coffee.

I would say that this is not the best flat white I have had, but it was good flavoured coffee and I enjoyed it.

It was then back into the car. It had taken me two and half hours from Manchester to Gloucester, even with some snow around Keele area. However due to closure of M5 between J13 and J14, it took me another two and half hours to get from Gloucester to Weston-super-Mare, going via Stroud and the M4.

Well I enjoyed that coffee

flat white

Popped into Caffe Nero for a flat white. They had a special offer of a coffee and a brownie for £4.50, so I had a flat white and a chocolate brownie.

It was just what I needed after going through my inbox.

The brownie was chocolatey and gooey, but wasn’t over rich, light enough to be enjoyed.

The coffee was excellent, there is something about the consistency of experience I find with Caffe Nero, virtually every time I have a flat white at Caffe Nero is I get the same kind of experience, which is nice.

Decent Coffee

Last week I attended an event, this was a real in-person event in central London. I have not done one of those for a while. I think my last in-person event was back at the beginning of March 2020. One thing I hadn’t missed was the conference coffee which was dire. I wonder sometimes why I even bother drinking it, as it was terrible.

However the venue, The Business Design Centre, did have a cafe on site and they served Illy coffee. So during the afternoon break rather than have a conference coffee, I headed to the cafe and ordered a flat white.

This was a well made coffee and it was delicious.

Slow Coffee

I was driving down the M4 one evening, when I decided I needed a break and I stopped off at Starbucks at Membury Services. Rather than go into the main services, I headed off to the Starbucks, which though a drive through, also has a large seating area. I prefer these to the coffee places in the main services building.

I was the only person at the counter, but it took a while for me to be served and then it took a while for my coffee to arrive. I guess they were busy with drive though orders, but even so, I wonder why one member of staff focuses on drive through orders and the other member of staff on the wall ups.

I had a flat white in a cardboard cup. It was, like a lot of Starbucks coffee rather bitter. However I had a nice break and then it was back in the car and time to continue the journey.