Time for an Arnolfini coffee


It’s been a while since I’ve had something to eat or drink at the Arnolfini in Bristol. With the wealth of new places popping up, it’s been tempting to go to new places rather than old ones. It’s also a little bit of a trek from the office for a quick lunch, so usually it’s off the cards then too.

Having a walk around the Bristol Harbourside on an unusually sunny day we decided to stop for a coffee and as it happens we were close to the Arnolfini, so without too much indecision decided to go there. Well that’s not exactly how it happened. We actually wanted to go to Mokoko Coffee & Bakery on Wapping Wharf, however one of our “little” ones didn’t fancy any of their cakes so we went to buy ice cream instead. After getting ice cream from the van outside the bottom of the MShed we decided we could go have a coffee. Having crossed Princestreet Bridge and having now finished the ice creams, were close to the Arnolfini, so without too much indecision decided to go there!

As can be expected on a sunny day at the weekend on the Harbourside the tables and chairs outside the Arnolfini were very busy, we were happy to sit inside, but as it was busy there was a bit of a queue. It moved faster than I thought it would and I ordered my coffee, a flat white, a tea and a Diet Coke.

As we were sitting inside, we were told they would bring the drinks over and we could go and sit down. I really like it when places do that, it feels so much more civilised than moving down to the other end of the counter and waiting around for your drink, or for your name to be called. Too many times for my liking when that happens I seem to lose my drink to someone and I need to complain and wait again. I have stopped calling myself “James” now when ordering coffee, as there appears to be too many Jameses out there.

The inside of the Arnolfini hasn’t changed much over the years, it felt like a hipster place before hipsters became hip. The shared long tables and benches are still there and the atmosphere is warm and inviting.

While we were waiting we looked at the menu on the blackboard and we agreed that we liked all of the items and it would have been difficult to choose one. Made me think that I might come back another day for lunch.

Coffee at the Arnolfini

The flat white came and I was impressed. It was smooth and velvety with a lovely strong coffee taste. In other words done right.

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