Planning a spring stay-cay in the South West? Don’t waste precious holiday time researching the best local coffee shops – let the South England & South Wales Independent Coffee Guide do the hard work for you. Here are a few of our faves
Origin Coffee – Harbour Head
This Porthleven outpost is the perfect place to sample Origin Coffee’s top-notch beans.
With the roastery HQ just down the road, the experienced baristas at the Harbour Head outpost get first pick of the own-roasted coffees. Choose between silky espresso, crowd-pleasing batch brew and fruit-forward filters.
Poured concrete and industrial fittings create a contemporary setting in which to sink a flat white, scoff local pastries and watch the bustle of village life in the busy harbour.
St Ives, Cornwall
Tucked away behind two blue shutters on St Ives’ busy waterfront, this hole-in-the-wall espresso bar is a sanity-saver for caffeine-craving beachgoers, gallery hoppers and walkers who stray off the South West Coast Path. A reverse-mermaid (bikini body, fish head) mural further signals where to find the good stuff.
The Kiosk may be dinky but its takeaway offering certainly isn’t; own-roasted beans are served as espresso and batch brew, while cold brew makes an appearance during warmer months. Looking to linger? Head upstairs to the sister cafe which features a chunkier coffee menu and brunch options.
Short & Strong
Short & Strong was founded on its owners John, Mel and Tom’s shared passion for quality coffee.
The trio got the coffee bug while travelling in Oz and decided to haul a slice of antipodean coffee culture back to the historic harbour village of Charlestown. They set up shop in a former mast shed which they’ve turned into a cosy but contemporary cafe.
Day-trippers hit the attractive spot for expertly pulled espresso, batch or cold brew, and modern brekkie and lunch dishes.
The Hairy Barista
Head to this lively cafe at the top of Totnes High Street for plant-based breakfasts served with sides of speciality coffee.
London’s Mission Coffee Works provides the house roast which is crafted into syrupy espresso on a gleaming Sanremo Opera 2. Filter options are fortified with guest beans from speciality stalwarts such as Square Mile, Hasbean and Crankhouse.
Veg-centric finds here include healthy breakfasts, seasonal soups and sourdough toasties, while vegan and gluten-free cakes tempt the sweet-toothed of every dining persuasion.
Kalipso Artisan Coffee & Food
The overwhelming prospect of choosing between numerous good coffee venues in a big city isn’t a problem for Torquay’s visitors as Kalipso is the only indie crafting speciality on its high street.
Tourists visiting the English Riviera throng here for the bumper selection of beans and specialist drinks. Guest coffees are sourced from big names such as Square Mile, Clifton, Origin, Hasbean and Crankhouse, and prepared in a multitude of serve styles.
The food offering is headlined by New York-style bagels: pastrami, red leicester and gherkin being the current top crowd-pleaser.
Plant-based foodies and caffeine-conscious folk make a beeline for this indie cafe in McCoy’s Arcade in Exeter.
The coffee shop’s founders, Hayley and Nathan Maker and Becca Allen, champion fellow indies in their food and drink selection, while revelling in contemporary design (houseplants tumble across exposed brick walls and pendant bulbs illuminate wooden tables).
Tiverton’s Roastworks Coffee supplies the house roast while guests include beans bronzed a few doors down the road by Crankhouse. The food is 100 per cent vegan so visitors can feast guilt-free on waffles, smorbrod and toast (toppings are updated every six weeks) followed by a slice of raw cashew-cream cheesecake.