Marks & Spencer – Albert Street

Another one to cross off the list of establishments we’d yet to try coffee at, and I was more than pleasantly surprised to be honest. I opted for the usual decaf latte (medium for £2.45) whilst Kerry had an Americano (medium for £2.00) and we both went for the chocolate cake with salted caramel (£2.75), so just under £10 all in, and you got a tiny Christmas tree shaped biscuit with the coffees.

The coffee’s were a really good size, put some places (Wired) to shame, the large must be like a bucket! The latte was nice and smooth and not too frothy, I’d have theirs again for sure. Kerry enjoyed her’s too, says it wasn’t amazing but she would have it again.

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And then there is the chocolate cake…. it was superb, not too rich and sickly, moist and the perfect balance of sponge to filling / cream. The filling was salted caramel and was a new experience for both of us and really worked, had it been ‘normal’ caramel it may have made the cake overly sweet. The butter-cream icing was lovely too, had tiny chocolate balls on it and a solid icing thing on top.

The cafe itself was simple, clean and spacious, maybe inhabited by a more elderly clientèle than some places but that’s not a bad thing really, they are quieter than young people and less likely to have annoying children!

 

Charlie’s Coffee Bar – Castle Gate

I stumbled across this place a coup,e of months ago but saved visiting it until I was with Kerry. Even though it is close to the city centre it doesn’t get a huge amount of passing traffic, so is it worth taking a small detour and giving it your patronage?

Kerry had a large flat white coffee and a bacon roll, I had a decaf latte and an odd shortcrust biscuit layer strawberry jam thing. Total price was just £7.25, which seems very low indeed, but wasn’t wrong!

My latte was lovely, frothy and smooth. The biscuit thing was nice too, wasn’t sure why I had it as I am not a big strawberry jam fan but I opted for something a bit different and I got that. Kerry’s coffee was nice and the bacon roll was lovely, it had proper butter and a good thick layer of bacon.

The place itself is really nice, it is large, bright and spacious. Staff were friendly too, think it was mother and daughter, service wasn’t instant but we were not in a rush and sat for quite a while eating, drinking, chatting and reading the papers, never felt rushed to leave although I do wish I’d ordered a second latte. At most 3 tables were occupied during the hour we were there, which was a bit of a shame as even though I wouldn’t want it to be heaving it would be nice to see it flourishing as wouldn’t want it to close down. We’ll be going back, much more preferable to a chain coffee shop when given the option.

Wired Cafe Bar – Pelham Street

This is a new little cafe in the centre of Nottingham, we aimed to go on Sunday but they were not open, not a good start. But luckily they do open on a Friday.

First impressions were good, it was tidy and bright, not huge but that didn’t matter as there were table available. I had a decaf latte and a nanino (not sure what it wasn’t looked interesting) whilst Kerry had a flat white coffee and a flapjack. Total price was just a little over £9, so about the average price really.

Kerry’s coffee was all right, not as nice as other places we’ve been too and it did remind her a little of that in Rapha – her barometer for the sort of coffee she isn’t keen on. My latte was okay, nothing spectacular, quite bitter and not in a good way, maybe more burnt than bitter. Even though we opted for a large the size left something be desired, not sure of the mugs volume but seemed smaller than the ones we have at home.

The flapjack was really nice, very soft and sticky, and a nice sized portion too. The nanino was very nice, even after eating it I am not sure what it was, similar to a caramel shortbread but with the caramel being replaced with something else.

Staff were friendly and service was quick, place had a nice relaxed ambience until someone came in with loud kids. Not sure it’s a place we’d rush back too, coffee was just not quite as nice as we would like sadly.