The Range – Lady Bay Retail Park

After doing some browsing in the store we went to the coffee shop, it is nicely situated looking down on the store and great for people watching, some nice comfy sofas too which we took over, much to the envy of those who followed us.

Kerry had a large Americano (£2.20) and a cinnamon bun (£1.95), the latter was chosen via the toss of a coin, it was between that and the chocolate cake, as the cinnamon bun won it was down to me to force myself to have the chocolate cake (£2.55) as well as a large latte (£2.45).

They only do decaf coffee, so the latte was full powered and I could taste it, added a couple of brown sugars which lessened the bitterness somewhat and it was really nice, a good big cup for the price paid. The chocolate cake was sublime, so soft, a nice layer of cream in the middle and on top, made the John Lewis effort from yesterday seem even more like rubbish.

Kerry’s coffee was really nice, very strong again and took more sugar than usual to tame it, but she is fine with adding extra sugar without worrying, again a good sized cup and excellent value for money. The cinnamon bun was gorgeous and she was glad the coin dictated that she had it, I tried it (not a big cinnamon fan) and liked it too.

A really good experience, we sat for far longer than we intended to as there was a relaxed air, good coffee, people to watch, and kisses to share. Best place we’ve been for coffee for quite some time, and the expectations were quite low really, although not sure why now.

John Lewis Espresso Bar – Victoria Centre

As most things John Lewis this is a rather smart establishment, tacked on to the main department store in Nottingham, it is quite well laid out, enough tables but with enough space to move between them, although it can get over busy at times – there is a seating area outside in the main shopping centre which is supposed to be just for its customer’s but it gets used by people who have bought food from anywhere.

I had a decaf latte (£2.30) and a slice of chocolate and orange fudge cake (£3.50) and Kerry had an Americano (£2.20) and a vanilla slice (£3.20). The latte was not massive, no choices in size and for the price it did not seem big enough, it did tasted really nice, there was just not enough of it. Had it been a bit cheaper I would have had a second.

The chocolate and orange fudge cake was disappointing, the slice was a good size but the cake was dry and pretty much flavourless. Eating it felt like a chore when I was hoping to savour and enjoy it. The chocolate topping was okay, it added some taste at least but not something I would have again.

Kerry’s Americano was a better size, it was nice and very strong, requiring extra sugar. The vanilla slice was nice as well apart from the thin layer of jam at the bottom, we could not work out what type of jam it was, but she did not like it and so that layer got left.

Overall a fairly disappointing experience, not one we would look to repeat any time soon.

Costa – Listergate

Before we found Druckers this was our favourite coffee shop and may still be for general day to day drinks I think. It has so much room but for some reason everyone gathers downstairs so we always go upstairs, nice comfy sofa’s and some rather interesting chairs, it does not look like part of a chain.

I went for a decaf medio latte (£2.15) and a raspberry and almond bake (£1.80) whilst Kerry had a medio Americano (£2.20) and a croissant (£1.30), and they charge extra for butter, which is fare enough but 20p per portion seemed a little steep really.

The latte was lovely and smooth, perfect temperature to have a sip but then not have to leave for ages to continue drinking. The raspberry and almond bake was amazing, I’ve never had it before but it was the perfect blend of cake to jam and the added crunch of the almond means I will be having it again.

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Kerry’s croissant was very nice, a good size and buttery – helped by the extra butter of course. Her coffee was good too, needed a little extra milk but the croissant took over her concentration so some coffee was left as it got cold in that time.

The table was wobbly but we found that out after a small spill and trying to bodge it with a napkin failed so we were just careful. They also have a small table for two that looks perfect for a couple of 8 year-olds on a date, really odd as they shouldn’t be going out for coffee, or maybe Nottingham has a bigger small person population than I thought!

Starbucks – North Parade

This Starbucks has recently been refurbished, and the distinctive green sign has gone, most disconcerting really!

I opted for a grande decaf latte (£2.50)  and chocolate cake (£2.10), Kerry had a grande white Americano (£2.10) and some luxury fruit toast (£1.65). The order was taken quickly, many staff in attendance which is a nice change to some places we’ve been to. They take your name still, but when the drinks were ready no-one actually shouted, it was just fortunate I went to see if they were ready.

The new layout is quite interesting, lots of stools and benches at tables, not really made for hanging around too long but we managed it okay.

The latte was lovely, very smooth and just strong enough to have taste but no need for sugar. Kerry’s Americano was nice, needed quite a lot of sugar – but they always do, nothing to do with the strength of the coffee, more an addiction to the white stuff. He luxury fruit toast was really nice, the butter was cold so took a while to melt into it, that just delayed the satisfaction though, only complaint was with trying to use a plastic knife to spread butter that was harder that the knife! The chocolate cake was a bit dryer than i expected but it was nice too, I prefer a slightly lower cake to cream ratio, but maybe I am just a pig!

Overall a really enjoyable experience, we chose the wrong place to sit as it was very busy and we were close to the counter, excellent for people watching though.

Druckers – Victoria Centre

Yes, we went there again! We promise to try somewhere different next time, but Druckers is like a big warm woolly jumper for us, just one with lovely cakes.

I had a latte (£2.15) and double chocolate cake (£3.10) and Kerry had an Americano (£1.90) and apple cake (£2.70), neither of us had the cream, I do not like fresh cream and Kerry wasn’t in the mood for it, as it costs 70p extra I did not argue of course – I am still a little bitter at paying for an extra when they do not tell you it costs more to have it!

We both wished we had opted for the large drinks but they were both really nice, the latte was lovely and creamy, not too strong or week – just right, no sugar needed. Kerry’s Americano was nice too, not too strong either, she added less sugar than normal, a combination of less bitter coffee and a smaller cup taking effect.

Her apple cake was lovely too, she demolished it very quickly, the only thing she would change with it would be to remove the almonds from the top, but there are rarely many and they are simple to remove. My chocolate cake was nice, I have had it before and last time it was nicer, this time it did seem a little cold, I should have left it a few minutes but it was a chocolate cake in front of me and leaving it was no option! It is the perfect level of cake to filling, with a profiterole of the top for good measure.

This will be our last trip to Druckers for a little while, although we love it we need to go elsewhere, or when we do visit Druckers have something different…

Debenhams – Market Square

Someone said this morning “can we go for breakfast?” in a cute little voice, and how could I say no! I knew where we would be going, and we got there before it was open (later opening with it being a bank holiday to excuse her a little).

Kerry had a large Americano (£2.30) and the 6 item breakfast (£3.75), I have a pot of tea (£1.70) and fruit toast (£1.79), we saved our 10% again of course. I was going to have a lemon meringue muffin but was looking around whilst Kerry’s breakfast was being sorted out and found an area I hadn’t looked at before and saw the fruit toast and it seemed more breakfast suitable than cake.

The tea was lovely, you easily get 2 cups from the pot, and it was really nice, not sure what tea it was but it wasn’t a cheap brand. I find tea much less heavy and more refreshing and it was spot on. The fruit toast was sublime, I had butter rather than low fat spread and it melted into the toast and tasted really nice, two slices was just the right amount, I will be having it again for sure.

Kerry loved the breakfast, the bacon was a little fatty for her and after asking the serving lady a couple of times for different rashers she felt a bit guilty so took what she was given after the third request! her coffee was lovely too, the large drinks are large indeed, only just enough room to add the milk, but no way we will complain for getting too much coffee.

Because the shop had only just opened the restaurant was nice and quiet, but unlike BHS a few days ago the empty space didn’t feel oppressive. We sat in what is becoming our usual area overlooking the Market Square and watched the world pass by as we ate and drank.