Yelly Eats

A gem off the beaten path: Coleman Coffee Roasters

Coleman Coffee Roasters frontWe came across this lovely café quite by accident.  We were exploring Lower Marsh and the rain started to come down quite heavily.  We were also looking for a place to have breakfast because our usual cheap eat favourite Marie’s on the same street was closed.

We took shelter and the smell of coffee  wafting from the beautifully gleaming vintage espresso machine was amazing!  We were greeted with a really welcome “Hello guys!” so we went further in and looked at the menu.  We were intending to be polite and just have coffee and possibly cake.  But they served Staffordshire oatcakes or “oaties” and there was quite a choice from sweet to savoury fillings for the oat pancakes.  We’d never had oaties before so our curiousity was piqued!  We chose to have bacon and stewed tomatoes.  The aroma of cooking bacon was amazing, and boy were the oaties oh-so-fabulously good!  It rated an “oh-my-God-this-is-amazing!” with my mouth full of oatie-bacon-tomato goodness!  The oaties were light but surprisingly filling.  I expected to feel full and bloated after, but I didn’t.  It was heaven on a plate.

oaties!Now. let’s get to the lovely brew!  I opted for drip coffee because it’s what I do when trying out a new coffee place (my better-safe-than-sorry coffee measure).  I was offered a choice between the Guatemalan and another blend (I think it was Costa Rican blend) and I chose the Guatemalan.  It was very nostalgic for me because it was served on a Duralex looking cup, which reminded me so much of the French coffee cups that my father favoured.  At first I was worried because the drip coffee looked light and watery.  But oh no, was I VERY wrong!  The coffee was rich, comforting and oh-so-flavourful.

Mmmm coffee!The staff are lovely, very friendly, so very helpful and they know their products.  They’re happy to explain what they sell, what you’re options are and they give you lovely recommendations.  They also love what they’re selling.  That’s key!

This isn’t quite on the main road from Waterloo Station, but this is definitely worth a visit.  The space is small and there are only a few seats, but that’s part of the charm.  If you have the opportunity to wander around Lower Marsh, pay the lovely folks at Coleman Coffee Roasters a visit.  It is DEFINITELY worth it!

Coffee and oaties!

Yelly Eats

The flat white from Flat White

There are a lot of reasons why I’d love to live in London.  There’s something about the frenetic activity of a world-class city that makes one feel alive.  For one, the shops don’t close at 5 or 6PM.  There’s always something to do and there’s always something to happen.  What I love about my London trips is that you literally walk in history.  Each corner and cobblestone may have had a place in history!

And the food!  London is such a cultural melting pot that one is spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing where and what to eat.  You have a choice of going to a restaurant chain or going to an independent one-of-a-kind shop.

I love my coffee strong (some might say strong enough to stand one’s spoon in!) and while I will always somehow feel a certain loyalty to Starbucks (sometimes Starbucks coffee can leave me wanting more), London offers a wide variety of choice when it comes to places where one can get a brilliant cuppa.

One of my favourite street food purveyors of great coffee is Bean About Town.  Their coffee is strong and robust and you get the perfect caffeine hit.  I’ve been known to head to South Bank when a headache rears its ugly head just to stop a migraine from coming (obviously only when I’m actually IN London)!  I remember once my migraine really was starting and we were in South Bank  I was very disappointed that they’d run out of beans and I couldn’t get my caffeine fix.

One of my favourite coffee places of all time though is Flat White.  It’s this little coffee shop nestled in between vegetable stalls and fabric shops on Berwick Street in Soho.  It serves, well, flat whites (of course!), cappuccino, lattes, and a selection of other coffee based drinks.  They also offer a great selection of teas.  If you’re feeling peckish and need a little something to have with your cuppa, they’ve got a selection of bread-based eats and baked goodies as well.

I love Flat White.  Mostly because they make a good flat white – strong and not at all too watery or milky.  For those who haven’t had a flat white, a flat white is a coffee drink developed in Australia in the 1970s and further developed in New Zealand in the 80s.  It’s prepared by preparing steamed milk with small, fine bubbles into a shot or a double shot of espresso.  Flat White a smallish narrow restaurant that has a long L-shaped banquette.  But what I appreciate most about this little gem of a coffee shop is that even though seating is limited, the atmosphere is very laid back and no one rushes you to gulp down your drink, inhale your food and free up seating space.  You’re allowed to chill out and linger over your coffee.  The staff are wonderfully friendly (no question too silly!) and you are served with an amazing efficiency (the music is not too loud and brilliant to listen to!)!

Table Flat White

If you’re ever in Soho, and you’re dying for a cup of coffee, mosey on along to Flat White.  It will definitely be worth it!

Flat White's flat white

 

Yelly Eats

The Nordic Bakery

I am a lover of cinnamon.  Cinnamon bun, cinnamon cake, cinnamon rolls…you name it, if it has cinnamon I will want to try it!

The year I moved to England, Alan told me about this little tucked away coffee place called the Nordic Bakery that made really good cinnamon buns.  It was in Golden Square in Soho and being a non-native, when we went to pay a visit to it, it seemed to take forever to get to it (of course I’ve completely changed my mind now because I know that everything – well, mostly everything – in London is within walking distance of each other!).  When we got there, the place was packed and very busy and we ordered a cinnamon bun.  They packed it for us, and we took it back to the flat.  I had it and was a tiny bit disappointed.  It was nice – but to me, it was nothing to write home about.

I have, however, kept an open mind.  I liked the vibe of Nordic Bakery while I was there (it was probably not even 5 minutes) but the blue and dark wood interiors were indelibly stamped in my mind.  Every time we chanced upon Golden Square, I looked at Nordic Bakery and wanted to go in, sit down, have a coffee and a pastry (or four!).

Then just this month, I had the opportunity to enjoy the Nordic Bakery twice in 2 weekends.  Everything was delicious!  Even the cinnamon bun which I thought was disappointing the first time I had it.  Everything was really good because, for me, a recalcitrant diabetic with a sweet tooth, everything sweet is to be taken in moderation, and the goodies on offer were not toothache-inducingly sweet!

With a lovely chocolate sprinkled cup of cappuccino (I loved their coffee but will probably try one with an extra shot of espresso next time)

Nordic Bakery's cappuccino

I enjoyed their deliciously spiced lingonberry bun.  There was a lovely aroma of cardamom that went really well with the sweet-tartness of the lingonberry jam that was generously spread over the top of the very light cake.

Nordic Bakery's lingonberry bun

Yesterday, I had a selection of pastries: the savoury but deliciously creamy potato Karelian pie

Nordic Bakery's potato Karelian pie

followed by the yummy apple Tosca bun (it looked like it was going to be so sweet but it wasn’t! It was lovely and light and the apple flavour came through each beautiful bite!)

Nordic Bakery's apple Tosca bun

and I had the classic cinnamon bun to finish.  The cinnmon bun is one of Nordic Bakery’s best selling products.  By the time we had finished our coffee and cakes the once full basket on the counter was empty!  This isn’t your typical doughy cinnamon roll.  The layers are thin and light and oh-so-cinnamony.  The outer layers are also thin but almost crispy that they crackle when you slice or bit into them.  It has certainly redeemed itself!  It goes way too well with a hot cup of coffee!

Nordic Bakery's classic Cinnamon bun

I was so intrigued by the Tosca bun that I had to buy the cookbook.  It is filled with the wonderful recipes of all the Nordic Bakery favourites.  It’s not going to stop me from eating at the Nordic Bakery but it will certainly tide me over until my next visit!

Nordic Bakery Cookbook

My first Nordic Bakery cookbook bake is the Tosca cake.  It was so easy to make!  Am so excited to have coffee this afternoon (it’s a bit sad, isn’t it?)!  Join me for a slice?

My version of Nordic Bakery's Tosca cake

You need to visit the Nordic Bakery if you’re in London.  It’s a really nice place to have coffee and something sweet or something savoury.  The staff are helpful and are ever so patient when you have questions about the food on offer.  The service is quick and I love how everything is served in pretty plates, trays and mugs of varying shades of blue.   I’ve yet to try the rye bread sandwiches but they look so delicious and I intend to try one when I pay my next visit.  They have a branch in the Golden Square in Soho.  Apart from the Soho branch, they have one on New Cavendish Street and on Dorset Street, both in Marylebone.