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.

Great views and great coffee

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Meeting up with family near to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, I really did fancy a coffee.

Up on the hill overlooking the bridge is the Clifton Observatory. A former mill, built in 1766, was damaged by fire just eleven years later and lay derelict for over fifty years until, an artist by the name of William West rented it as a studio. West installed telescopes and a camera obscura, which were used by artists of the Bristol School to draw the Avon Gorge and Leigh Woods on the opposite side.

Clifton Observatory

I’ve not been to the cafe in the Clifton Observatory before, but it looked like table service was off limits, due to Coivd-19, but they were doing a takeaway service.

They served a range of coffees, which was nice, so I went with my usual choice of a flat white.

This was served with a smile and a contactless payment later I was handed my coffee. The flavour of the coffee was excellent and the milk velvety and smooth as it should be. Really excellent coffee.

Great friendly service and the coffee was delicious.

Not going to Starbucks!

Those who know me, know I enjoy my coffee.

However since we got into lockdown I’ve not been able to visit my usual places for coffee and enjoy a flat white.

As lockdown is now easing, our local Starbucks, which is a drive-thru, has re-opened, but only for drive-thru, you can’t go and sit down and drink coffee.

Starbucks

I try and avoid takeaway coffee, as for me it’s not just about the coffee, but the whole coffee drinking experience. So though I could drive to Starbucks and get a flat white in a cardboard cup, and then drink it in my car, I am not quite sure why I would do that?

What I am looking forward to is going out for a coffee. Ordering the coffee, maybe a cake or pastry and then sitting down to enjoy that overall coffee drinking experience.

Coffee and Pistachio Croissant

On one of my last visits to London I stopped for a coffee on the way to the office, to check e-mail and catch up on other stuff.

I had been meaning for a while to try out the Sourced Market on Wigmore Street in Westminster. Before I didn’t have the time, or there was too much of a queue and I hate queuing…

This time, I had the time, and there was no queue, even though it was crowded. I was going to just have a flat white, but liked the look of the Pistachio Croissant, so I got one of those as well.

Sourced Market has a basement, it was quieter so I was down there (and could still get a 4G signal).

The coffee was excellent, and maybe a little too sweet for me, I did still enjoy the croissant.

Certainly if I ever get back to London and it’s open, I will go again.

Time for a rather nice Flat White

Harris & Hoole

When I am in London (and elsewhere) and needing a coffee I try and find somewhere not only new, but try and find a place which I wouldn’t find locally in the South West, whether that be an independent, or a “local” chain.

I enjoyed the coffee I had at Kiss the Hippo for example.

So on my most recent trip to London and arriving early for my meeting I decided to go for coffee and chose Harris & Hoole.

The welcome was warm and friendly and I ordered a flat white, as one does.

Flat White

The seating was somewhat communal with a large table and counters. There was additional seating downstairs, but I didn’t go down and have a look.

The coffee was really nice and I enjoyed it.

Time for a Flat White

I was at the services on the M42, and rather than go into the main building, I went to Starbucks, which stands alone, mainly as it is a drive through (not a thru) but has a “normal” bit as well with tables and chairs.

Flat White

I ordered a flat white, like I usually do, and I was reminded why when it comes to coffee that I rarely go to Starbucks as the coffee tasted as though the beans had been over-roasted, so great coffee taste, but left a rather unpleasant burnt after-taste.

Despite the coffee, the flat white had been prepared really well, the milk was smooth, velvety and light as it should be. I quite enjoyed it in the end.

Tasty coffee in the hustle and bustle

In the midst of shopping decided to stop at Paterisse Valerie in Cribbs Causeway for a quick coffee. Actually we didn’t want a quick coffee, what we wanted to do was take a break from the crowds, sit down and have a coffee. We did consider going to Pret a Mange, but the queue was really long, and at least with Paterisse Valerie we could sit down and chat while we waited and while we waited for the coffee.

We ordered a few drinks, but I went with a flat white, whilst my eldest went with a latte.

For a French sounding place I feel I really should have had a cafe au lait, but the reality was that no such coffee was on the menu.

The flat white was strong and intense with the smoothness of the milk offering a nice contrast.

The place was busy, so service was slower than I might like, but we spent the time chatting, so it wasn’t an issue.

It’s kind of what I expected…

Usually when I stop at the services on a long car journey, I venture in, see a high street chain, look at the prices and then walk out.

Well at least I managed to stretch my legs. Sometimes though I am known to order a coffee.

On my most recent visit to Membury Services, I decided I would buy a coffee, and went to Starbucks. I am actually not a great fan of the flavour of Starbucks coffee, but with no choice, I ordered a flat white.

flat white

I had quite low expectations, so in the end I quite enjoyed the coffee. It was kind of what I expected.

Though I have visited the Membury Services many times it was only last year that I realised it was next to an airfield, when I heard and then saw an airplane coming into land.

Though checking Wikipedia I realise that it was only more recently that aircraft have started flying from the airfield, as the airfield was closed in the 1960s with the construction of the M4. The services are located on the original site of the RAF Membury. The base was opened in 1942 and was used by the RAF and the USAAF.