Welcome to the penultimate Coffee Spot Awards Shortlist for 2013, the Special Award, which was won in 2012 by Bar des Arts. This is a special award for those Coffee Spots which don’t quite fit into the other categories, but which nonetheless I absolutely love… It’s also a chance for me to recognise and reward those wonderful Coffee Spots that I come across during the year and which mean something special to me.
There are eight Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
Poppy Mae was a delightful place on Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, now the site of South Coast Roast. I’ve written about over 100 Coffee Spots in the last year and a bit and Poppy Mae is the only one I know about that has stopped trading for good.
Located in downtown Montréal, Café Myriade was my first real taste of the Montréal coffee scene. Packed and very, very loud on a miserably rainy day, this was not conducive to my liking the place and yet I did, a testament to Myriade’s appeal. And the espresso machine was very shiny :-).
There is something very special about the Southsea Coffee Co, right in the heart of Southsea. It’s not really where you’d expect to find great coffee, but there it is, a lovely neighbourhood place if ever there was one. I immediately felt at home at Southsea Coffee Co; it has that indefinable something to go along with great coffee, lovely food and a wonderful atmosphere.
Staying on the south coast, but heading east to Brighton’s famous Lanes, we have the Marwood, surely the most eclectic, off-the-wall Coffee Spot of 2013. It’s a lovely place though, full of different spaces and an amazing garden. Although it looks as if it’s been furnished from a junk yard sale, a lot of thought has gone into the interior. It also stays open nice and late.
Still on the south coast, this time a small step to the west, we find ourselves in Hove at the second of two Ground Coffee branches. This is another place with an indefinable something that sets it apart and just goes to prove that you don’t need to be completely off the wall or be the most-obsessive coffee geek there is to run a successful, friendly coffee shop. I’d popped out during a break in the cricket at the nearby Sussex County Ground; it was only meant to be a quick visit but I ended up staying a lot longer than intended!
Swindon’s Cafelicious had been on my must-visit list for a while. Typically, just before I went, I heard it had closed! Fortunately this foreshadowed a relocation for owners Barry and Mandy to the all-new Cotswold Artisan Coffee in Cirencester.
White Mulberries is simply fantastic. Run by the lovely Peyman and Rana, it has a great atmosphere. It could easily have been in the running for the “Most Passionate About Coffee” Award and as it is, was shortlisted for the “Happiest Staff” Award.
Last, but not least, is Everbean in the heart of Mayfair. It took me a little while to warm to Everbean, but it’s a lovely place, again very friendly, with that special something. A real cosy spot with some great coffee, cake and food.
You can find all 20 of the 2013 Coffee Spot Awards here.
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