Poppy Mae

An external view of the newly opened Poppy Mae in central BournemouthI’d heard good things about Poppy Mae. Very good things, in fact. So it was with some relief that I managed to track it down in its new location on Richmond Hill in the centre of Bournemouth (thanks to Luke from Café Boscanova for the directions). I was there back in November, two weeks after Poppy Mae had reopened following the move from its old home in Westbourne.

Honestly, I thought I was in love when I had visited Café Boscanova the day before, but now I’m torn. Poppy Mae is lovely, an old insurance office that has been gutted and pretty much left at that, with what looks like a homemade bar for the espresso machine and grinders and a table chucked in the middle of the room. Minimalist might be overstating it.

However, while it might look as if Poppy Mae had been thrown together on an absent-minded weekend, nothing could be further from the truth. Talking to the owner, Matt, the love, care and pure passion that had gone into Poppy Mae was evident from the start, resulting in a wonderful place. It doesn’t hurt that the coffee is excellent too 🙂

SAD NEWS: Poppy Mae was forced to close in mid-January, I believe largely due to factors outside of Matt’s control. It will be greatly missed. The good news is that space has been taken over by South Coast Roast, the self-described radical wing of Cafe Boscanova.

You can read why I loved Poppy Mae so much after the gallery.

[Gallery Temporarily Removed]

If you’re reading this at the start of 2013, pay a visit to Poppy Mae right now, before everything I saw becomes hopelessly out of date. I visited Poppy Mae two weeks after it had opened in its new home in the centre of Bournemouth and the owner, Matt, has great plans. Just between the time of my visit and posting this on the Coffee Spot, he’s rearranged the furniture and introduced a hot food menu. Leave it much longer and you might not recognise the place.

That said, in my mind, Poppy Mae is pretty much synonymous with Matt, so I suspect that if I go back in five years time, as long as Matt’s still there, I’d recognise the place instantly, even if it looked completely different! I suspect that’s how customers familiar with the old site in Westbourne might feeling walking into Poppy Mae’s new home. Talking to Matt, the love, care and pure passion that have gone into Poppy Mae was evident from the start. I might be putting words into Matt’s mouth, but the impression I got was that he’d taken over the old office and instead of trying to impose his will on it, he’d just let it be itself.

Whatever the motivation, I loved the end result. The bare brick walls, the cement floor, the random art on the walls, I loved the lot. The coffee too was excellent. The espresso came in a glass, with bottles of water freely available on the tables. It was so good that I drank it without thinking to take a picture, so I had to have another one. Such a tragedy!

I also had a piece of Bakewell Tart which was amazing. I am very partial to Bakewell Tart and I also bake a fairly mean one myself, but this knocked the socks off anything I’ve ever done. Everything about it was perfect.

Matt wasn’t doing food when I was there, but he showed me a wonderful breakfast in a dish that he was trying out. As well as being a top-class barista, Matt is also a top-class chef and is as passionate about his food as he is about his coffee. While I was there, he explained his ethos regarding food: everything will be homemade, with the emphasis on simple dishes. The only reason that he wasn’t serving food when I was there was that Matt wanted to get it right before rolling everything out.

Since then, Poppy Mae has started serving hot food with the menu changing daily, although there will always be one soup and one stew, plus different specials throughout the week along with a brunch menu. Added to that, there are sandwiches and tarts on the counter for takeaway customers.

I look forward to going back and sampling the food, along with more of Matt’s excellent coffee!

24 RICHMOND HILL • BOURNEMOUTH • BH2 6EJ
www.poppy-mae.co.uk +44 (0) 7967723458
Monday 09:00 – 17:00 Seating Benches, Chairs
Tuesday 09:00 – 17:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Wednesday 09:00 – 17:00 Service Order at Counter
Thursday 09:00 – 17:00 Cards Visa, Mastercard, Amex
Friday 09:00 – 17:00 Wifi No
Saturday 09:00 – 17:00 Power No
Sunday 10:00 – 16:00 Mobile 3G, Voice
Chain No Visits 26th November 2012

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