Fans of the sitcom Friends could not BE any happier with the Friends Reunion episode that has recently been aired on HBO. I certainly know seeing their somewhat plastic but still fantastic faces 20 years on made me feel all gooey inside and reminded me that coffee and friends go hand in hand.
A social coffee is always a good pick-me-up, whether it’s to meet up at your version of Central Perk to catch up on the gossip or to take the baby out to meet up with fellow weary mum mates who also need a STRONG caffeine fix.
Visiting your local coffee shop isn't just about supporting an independent business and getting a more unique experience than your regular big chain, it's about relationships. You could find your regular barista Gunther or hopefully a handsome Joey.
I’ve taken my buddy Andrea out on a recce to try these five coffee shops, as what is a coffee without Friends!
Pretty & Pip, Cirencester
We loved this independent coffee shop. I grabbed my flat white and headed to the gorgeous flowery garden, with its spray-painted walls and funky furniture. The owner Phil Pip showed me the before and after and it’s clear he and his business partner Emma Pretty are quite the creative duo.
All the food and drink is ethical and locally sourced. I tried their flat white and avocado and feta on sourdough and my friend had a caramel latte which she loved; both were amazing.
This kitsch tea and coffee shop does over 50 blends of tea and a mean coffee, and don’t get me started on the cakes! Karen Harvey, the owner and South African native, bonded over biltong with fellow native Andrea, so whilst they chatted I tried one of her homemade chocolate brownies and they were to die for.
The café offers a family feel that will make you want to come back again and again. Dogs are welcome too and even get their own drink, a ‘puppuccino’!
Baristocats Café, Swindon
This is a lovely family run café, purrfect for cat lovers as there is an abundance of feline inspired artwork. No smelly cats here though. It had a super welcoming atmosphere and a great range of savoury and sweet food, hot drinks and colourful smoothies if you want something a bit healthier.
Darkroom Espresso, Swindon
The first thing that grabbed my attention was the cool monochrome interior design. The name of Darkroom Espresso comes from the idea that making coffee requires the same craft, skill and care as developing a photo in a darkroom, so obviously we had to try out their craftmanship which was clearly an art form as the coffee was strong without being too bitter which is hard to find.
The Barista, Cricklade
I was excited to try the Barista, as I’m a big fan of Cricklade. I spoke to the staff who told me that the coffee shop prides itself mainly on serving consistently great coffee. The café is bigger inside than it looks and has a bring your muddy boots and waggy tailed friends vibe to it. The lattes had a great blend to them and were not too overpriced either.
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