John Lewis – The Victoria Centre

Lazy Sunday morning and opted for John Lewis, we’ve been to the small cafe before but this time we went to the big restaurant instead – more options and space.

I had a decaf latte (£2.30), fruit toast (£1.95) and chocolate brownie(£2.35) (I’d been out on my bike and so was hungry and allowed more calories), Kerry had a white Americano (£2.20) and a bacon sandwich (£3.95) on white bread. The bacon sandwich seemed a little expensive really, same price as you pay in on a train in First Class, and there they have no competition.

The fruit toast was lovely, nice and hot so the butter melted into it easily. Not sure how fruit toast is made as both slices are ‘crusts’ which helps them keep the integrity better. The latte was really smooth and not at all bitter, only complaint is the size, not sure they do different sizes, didn’t see the option on the menu. The chocolate brownie ‘pudding’ was really nice, not freshly made but very nice and moist.

Kerry’s bacon sandwich was nice, not amazing as she’d have preferred it in a bun/baguette, and for the price would rather have gone to Greggs for one, or two as you could get two for the price you pay at John Lewis. Her Americano was nice, no more detail than that.

The restaurant is very big, with comfy chairs and if you choose carefully quite a nice view across a part of the city, because it’s big there didn’t feel to be a rush to move on so we could just relax. All staff we encountered were friendly and the place was clean, with tables tidied as people left.

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Costa – Waterstones, Bridlesmith Gate

I love this Costa, it was small and not like other Costsa’s really, the guys who worked there were very cool and friendly. But it has been refurbished recently, made much more open and added seating, good for them to increase profits and change the image, but I liked it a little dog-eared and not as corporate!

Kerry had an Ameicano and a bacon roll – Costa do not do bacon rolls but she sneaked one in from Greggs! I had a decaf latte and a cheese and tomato toastie. We also shared a caramel shortcake once we’d finished the savouries. Total was £10.05, with an extra £1.75 for the bacon roll.

My coffee was beautiful not had a decaf latte for a while and appreciated the lack of kick for a change. The cheese and tomato toastie was awesome, never had one before but really enjoyed it and I am sure I’ll be having one again in the future, nice and crispy and well balanced flavours.

Kerry’s Americano was nice, and her secret bacon roll was lovely! The caramel shortcake was really nice, caramel was so smooth, maybe a little thicker shortcake would have been good but can;t complain really.

Staff were friendly enough, I do miss the old guys but maybe they work during the week, or have been sacked for being too un-Costa. The place is clean and much more spacious than before, only 2 staff on and it was quite busy but the tables were kept clean and tidy.

Nottingham Castle

Day off work so we took a trip to the castle, as Nottingham residents it only costs £1 each to get in, Kerry was interested in the castle and it’s story, I wanted to see the views and eat cake! The view is good, looking down over the city, we chose to sit outside in the large seating area to take advantage of it for as long as we could.

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I had a latte and slice of fruit cake and Kerry had an Americano and chocolate cakes – the cakes are homemade and the slices are generous. Prices are not too cheap, £10.50 for the lot, but that’s what we have to expect from this sort of place, not like you can nip across the road to an alternative!

The latte was really nice, very smooth and a decent size – wished I opted for the large size – and the fruit cake was amazing! Lots of fruit and it was topped with walnut and sprinkled with sugar to give a sweet crunch.

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Kerry’s Americano was nice, it went cols rather quickly for some reason but tasted nice. The double chocolate cake was okay, she said it wasn’t amazing and was a bit dry, the chocolate on top melted very quickly even though it wasn’t that hot in the sun.

Service was a little relaxed (slow) but a nice place, probably not so nice if chucking it down with rain. The castle itself got a bit of  thumbs down as Kerry didn’t realise it wasn’t a proper castle – no battlements to walk on and a bit too much of a set of galleries really. We may go again though, if there was an exhibition we wanted to see, but I have promised her a proper castle too.

 

Greggs – Lady Bay Retail Park

Never thought we would have a Greggs on the site, not that we are snobs just that when we do go to Greggs it seems to be on our own or with other people! But as we needed to go and buy a cat carrier we popped in to Greggs for a coffe.

I had a latte and yum yum, Kerry had a bacon roll and white coffee. One good thing with Greggs is the price –  all in, Kerry offered to pay this time too, don’t blame her really.

My latte was nice, it can be very hit and miss in Greggs, not too strong, couple of sugars to take the bitterness off and it was perfect. The yum yum was yummy, they must be unhealthy but they don’t taste too naughty. Kerry’s coffee was nice too, it seemed to take a lot of sugar, one of the Kerry’s vices I will work on at some point. The bacon roll was lovely, I had a bit of the bacon and it was indeed, superb.

Seating area was nice and clean, we were the only ones there and we watched people walking past for a while and the staff were friendly too.

Homemade – Pelham Street

We have tried to go to Homemade before, but it gets very busy at times and so we have been thwarted, luckily yesterday we were able to get a seat inside – outside was jammed full as it usually is.

I had a latte and a chocolate brownie, Kerry had a white Americano (with cold milk, she is learning to make sure to ask for cold milk each time) and a slice of toffee cake, £9 in total. It is table service but we didn’t have to wait long, the drinks arrived followed by the food, and Kerry got 2 slices of cake, we weren’t sure whether that was on purpose or if the waiter had written down 2 in error. Either way there was no way they weren’t going to get demolished!

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The brownie was superb, as can be seen from the picture it was a good size, a nice combination of crunchy and chewy , I can never get my homemade ones anything like that. The latte was very nice too, incredibly hot and I did burn the roof of my mouth but I only have myself to blame of course.

Kerry’s coffee was nice, it was incredibly hot too, even with the cold milk, but she asked for a takeaway cup rather than rush and burn her mouth too, staff more than willing to help out as we noticed similar things with people who hadn’t finished meals too. The toffee cake was lovely, the sponge was really soft, the toffee flavour really came through, and given the 2 slices issue it was also huge!

The place itself is rather small, lots of tables crammed together, I guess that is what happens when you are popular to get more people in, a few different styles of chairs with the tables gives it a cool boho feel. As we got the penultimate table at the time we arrived we didn’t get a prime spot, close to the coffee prep area and so Kerry did get buffeted a few times from staff getting orders. The table was clean and staff all really friendly.

I have been told we will definitely be going back again.

Starbucks – Upper Parliament Street

August 3rd was always going to involve this Starbucks, no need to umm and ahhh about going to some new cool indie coffee house as 3rd August is the anniversary of our first date – technically not a date as it was a just a coffee outside of work, but it was where the spark happened and the fire of our relationship was ignited.

Kerry had a grande Americano (£2.10) and croissant (£1.35) whilst I had a grande decaf latte (£2.50) and some luxury fruit toast (£1.65).

Kerry’s coffee was nice, very warm too. The croissant was very fresh, as would be expected and she really enjoyed it, loves proper butter and is only allowed it when we are out and about. My latte was lovely, as it usually is.

The fruit toast was a little burnt around the edges unfortunately, the timer went off just as some more customers came in and one of the barista’s had gone AWOL so my toast suffered. It was still nice but a little crunshy when I’d prefer it chewier.

The staff were really friendly and the place was much cleaner that the last Starbucks we went in. it was a little warm as it isn’t the biggest place, maybe they need air conditioning or to move the big hot machine around a little bit to make it more comfortable.

The Cheese Shop – Flying Horse Mall

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Until today I didn’t know The Cheese Shop had a cafe area, now I do, and have experienced it. Kerry had a filter coffee whilst I had a latte and a meringue. Total cost was £6.65 which seemed fairly reasonable really.

Kerry thought her coffee was nice, very full and had to drink some in order to get more milk in, and as can be seen in the picture, just, the cup has a cool mouse/cheese logo on it – a nice touch. My latte was lovely, very hot and creamy.

I thought the meringue was just a meringue, when I ordered it I wasn’t expecting strawberries and cream. I am not a fan of fresh cream – and it is not a fan of my stomach – so I had to de-build it! The meringue was lovely after all the effort though.

It is a lovely little place, nicely hidden away from the crowds, not busy but the shop had a constant flow of people. The cafe area was nice and clean and the staff were excellent. Only change we’d make would be the addition of air conditioning into the seating area as it was a little warm.

It has a feel of Delilah about it, but it has been around, as a shop, much longer, and if far less pretentious and I am sure we will visit it again in the not to distant future.