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Britain’s coffee culture is one that has grown expediently in recent years, giving rise to what many are considering the British coffee culture boom.
Britain may already be world famed for its love of a good brew, but the coffee culture expansion in our fair country is showing the coffee shop, whether your preference be dark coffee aromas or traditional hearty tea, to mean something new. Whether it be to catch up with friends or family, a location for an afternoon cuppa, or somewhere to work and make use of the Wi-Fi while enjoying a caffeine hit, the coffee culture boom shows no signs of slowing.
Here we list the best and most unusual experiences that can be had whilst staying in popular self-catering English country cottage destinations across the UK.
Starting in the county of Sussex, Brighton may be better known more for its iconic seafront and vibrant nightlife, but its love of all things vintage has manifested itself into being a top location for a coffee shop break.
If Treacle & Co’s wedding cakes prove anything, they know how to make things look and taste amazing. Their TripAdvisor reviews even put a high claim stating their coffee is the finest to be found in the area. If cake and coffee float your boat, then be sure to make a visit when staying in the area.
Self-proclaimed ‘storm of 1930s glamour in a vintage teacup’, Brighton’s Metrodeco also prides itself on serving a decent brew. Their renowned loose leaf tea blends are also available for purchase online, but nothing beats sitting down at one of their 1930s inspired seats in their Parisian-style tea salon.
Similarly, showing the creative muscle of Brighton is Bohemia Grand Café and Late Lounge. This eccentric café and bar offers afternoon tea like nowhere else; with a variety of settings to choose from to enjoy your hot beverage over their three floors, you can choose whatever takes your fancy from leather armchairs in the ‘library’ to the Veuve Clicquot Roof Garden.
If you’re looking for skilled baristas and a cup of coffee that has been brewed with attention to detail and care, then pop down to Taylor St Baristas on Queens Road in Brighton. Proclaiming their establishment as one for ‘real coffee lovers’ you will be in good coffee-stained hands at Taylor St. They also have a number of cafes in London too, so whether you’re on holiday in Brighton or back to the hard slog in the capital you’re never too far away from decent beans.
Bike Beans Cycle Café in Surrey really shows how coffee culture has evolved in Britain. This café is more than just tea and coffee, it is a way of life acting as a pit stop and meeting point for riders. Aiming to support and inspire the cycling community through good food and good coffee, of which their customers say that their espresso coffee is the best in the area, their location on the edge of the North Downs (and the Olympic road bike route) puts them in first place for coffee on two wheels! They even have a Spinning Studio above the Cafe, with approximately 20 exercise classes per week and are equipped with 16 spin bikes.
Bath is already well known for its beautiful architecture, so it may come as no surprise that they also play a part in the British coffee culture boom. While this is true, the first stop is the historic and renowned Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House. As one of the world’s most famous tea and eating houses, this tiny establishment also boasts a status as one of the oldest houses in Bath. Whilst you’re there be sure to order the world famous original Sally Lunn bun, which is still baked to a secret recipe.
From the traditional to the contemporary, Colonna & Small’s really does fuel the coffee culture we are seeing across Britain. Offering the most stunning coffees that they can find, they really pride themselves on furthering this movement and brewing and offering the most exciting flavours. Their coffee changes weekly as they embrace the seasonality of coffee growing, so pop in to expand your coffee knowledge and palate. To expand your knowledge further you can also book on to one of their Coffee courses, all head up by 2012 & 2014 UK Barista Champion and 2012 & 2014 World Finalist, Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood.
For a truly different coffee culture experience, nowhere is quite like Oxford’s Thirsty Meeples, which is Oxford’s first and only board game café. While they are not a café in the usual sense, they still know how to serve up a fantastic cup of coffee. Open till late every night, just pay a small cover charge and then you are free to play as many of their 2,000+ games as you like.
Looking for a high-flying coffee experience? Spinnaker Tower’s Café in the Clouds offers something no afternoon tea aficionada could resist. This 170-metre viewing tower overlooking Portsmouth Harbour is in a perfect location for those staying in holiday rental cottages in Hampshire and as well as offering a great view, their High Tea menu will have your mouth watering. Celebrating their 10th birthday this year, expect some great events taking place too!
Showing that you can still get great coffee in the South West, Falmouth’s Espressini Artisan Coffee has made it their mission “to serve the best coffee, expertly prepared, telling the stories of the coffee and the growers along the way.” They pride themselves on going to great lengths to fully understand the characteristics of each coffee that they sell to ensure that they brew it to perfection before it even makes its appearance on their chalkboard, let alone in your cup.
“Espressini places great emphasis and value on tradition and personal service, all the while challenging ourselves, our knowledge and our cultural perceptions within the growing specialty coffee industry and UK cafe culture.”
The Hidden Hut on Porthcurnick Beach may not look like much from the off, but this small rustic outdoor beach cafe located just outside Portscatho on the Roseland Peninsula is truly something special. Rivalling the traditional coffee shop, this wooden beach-side hut offers great food and, of course, coffee with one heck of a view. Open from March through to October, everything is to take away, but if you can’t drag yourself away from its beachside location there is an outdoor seating area that boasts the most incredible uninterrupted views out to sea.
These are just a few of the amazing examples of how the coffee culture boom in Britain has formed great new experiences for the travelling coffee drinker. Share your #coffeesecrets from around Britain by tweeting Hideaways.
Image Credit: Espressini, treacle and co, Bohemia Brighton, Bike Beans Café, Colonna & Small’s, Spinnaker Tower, Espressini, The Hidden Hut – Mary Alice Pollard