Whether you’re planning a dedicated cafe tour or simply want to fuel your staycation adventures with excellent coffee, the Indy Coffee team’s post-lockdown itineraries are dripping with inspo
North Devon day trip
Surfers, walkers and beach bums flock to north Devon in summer, but it’s also becoming a destination for speciality coffee seekers.
The first stop of the day has to be BLOCK in Barnstaple to fuel up on sky-high American-style pancakes and a perfectly poured Clifton Coffee piccolo, before buckling up and striking out for the coast.
Still high on sugar and caffeine from brunch, there’s no resisting a pitstop at Heartbreak Hotel Coffee (pictured) in Braunton to pick up pillowy homemade doughnuts and an Allpress Espresso flat white for the road.
There’s only one place we’ll be parking once we’ve reached our fave coastal spot of Woolacombe and that’s Marine Drive. Once you’ve had your fill of sea, sand and surf, you’re on the doorstep of The Porthole which offers fine coffee, killer kimchi scotch eggs and uninterrupted sea views.
If you can’t secure a seat at The Porthole, wander into town and try your luck at Meraki Coffee Co. The cosy cafe serves cracking speciality brews from local Devon roasteries alongside a healthy and hearty foodie offering.
Cornwall’s north coast roasts
I’ll be heading to Cornwall this summer and planning my roadtrip around some especially good stops along the A39, which runs parallel to the county’s stunning northern coastline.
The term “hidden gem” is a bit overused but St Kew Farmshop and Cafe (pictured), right on the A39 at St Kew, is the real deal. Scandi-style interiors, woodfired feasting and shopping for locally produced groceries and houseplants are enhanced by the chance to sip a well-made Yallah-roasted coffee.
It’s worth making it a single shot as just ten minutes down the road at Hawksfield is the opportunity to screech to a stop for coffee at Strong Adolfos. We try and coincide visits with brunch but it serves any-time-of-day delish homemade cakes and Origin-roasted coffee. Word to the wise: make like a local and pick up a Da Bara cinnamon bun from Arc Deli next door as you head back to the car.
For those heading towards the coast at this point, Fee’s Food in Rock is a go-to for beautifully pulled Yallah beans (served in luscious pottery cups), deli delights and homemade food to cook at home (perfect when self catering). Then, just over the water at Padstow, hit up the new Rick Stein Coffee Shop which will be serving Origin coffee when it opens this month.
East coast roast
This summer is all about roadtrips and first on our list is Scotland. Instead of hitting the tourist trails, we’ll be travelling up the quieter south-east coast.
Before we cross the border from England we’ll be making a detour to one of the UK’s most unique cafes, Pilgrims Coffee (pictured). The coffee shop and roastery is based on Holy Island, a tiny tidal isle off the coast of Northumberland, which is a magical place steeped in myth and legend. Spend the night above the pub if you’re not in a hurry, then get first dibs in Pilgrims’ garden for morning coffee.
The seaside town of Eyemouth will be our first stop in Scotland, and what better welcome than a fat slice of homemade cake, stellar flat white and friendly welcome at Rialto Coffee? Blissfully buzzed, we’ll rejoin the coastal road and, after a few stops to admire the views, North Berwick will be next on our hit list. Steampunk Coffee Roasters is the place for coffee and brunch when you’re in town – we like to grab a seat on the ground floor to watch the roasters do their thing while sipping the fruits of their labours.
By the time we roll into Edinburgh it’ll be Espresso Martini o’clock, so we’ll head straight to Brew Lab for their killer caffeinated cocktails.
Cornish south-side sips
We go to St Mawes on the south Cornish coast each summer and when Bear Cornwall (pictured) turned up in 2019 it became as good for coffee as it’s always been for mackerel fishing trips and hikes along the coast path. So I’d definitely recommend a visit to the old Citroen van in St Mawes Castle Car Park for beautifully crafted coffee (beans by Olfactory) and cinnamon buns. Then, in nearby Falmouth, Beacon Coffee on the High Street offers a fix of urban speciality from a crew who really know their stuff, or head to Gylly Beach Cafe and grab an Origin coffee and lunch on the sand-side terrace.
Brighton bucket list
Just before the first lockdown I spent a couple of days in Brighton checking out the speciality scene and I’m definitely ready for round two.
Top of my revisit list is the flagship outlet of Pelicano Coffee Co. on Sydney Street (pictured). It’s the perfect stop for a speciality fix before a morning dipping in and out of indie shops in The Lanes.
When the hunger pangs kick in, I’ll make a beeline for Bond St. Coffee where food is taken as seriously as the coffee. Everything is prepared from scratch in-house and the brunch menu features droolworthy dishes such as celeriac and ham hock hash oozing with Plaw Hatch extra-mature cheddar. Whatever I plump for it’ll be paired with a noteworthy sip from the everchanging menu of house-roasted single origins.
After a walk along the famous pebble beach – or a sea dip if the weather’s good – I’ll be swinging by 640East for a home-brewed kombucha and plant-based buddha bowl to conclude a beautifully greedy day in Brighton.
Let us know which cafes you’ll be visiting on your coffee travels via Instagram and Facebook @indycoffeeboxuk