2015 Awards – Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting

An espresso, made by my Rancilio Silvia espresso machine, in a classic white cup and saucer from Acme & Co., New Zealand, distributed in the UK by Caravan Roastery.We kick off the second day with shortlist for the 2015 Coffee Spot Award for “Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting”. This is a new Award this year and follows on from the success of the Coffee Spot Lighting Calendar. It replaces the Coffee Spot Most Resembling a Coffee Shop Award.

Lighting in coffee shops has long held a fascination for me, with most of the galleries containing a shot or two of an interesting light-fitting. This Award celebrates those Coffee Spots with particularly outstanding lighting.

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • The lovely Society Cafe in The Corridor, Bath. Elegant and refined.
  • Soho Grind, with some amazing, atmospheric lighting upstairs and down.
  • Small Batch's Norfolk Square Branch, great use of an old bank branch.
  • Boston's Pavement Coffeehouse on Gainsborough Street.
  • Sheffield's Tamper Coffee in Sellers Wheel is a lovely setting for a coffee shop.
  • Artisan in Ealing has some of the most inventive lamp shades that I've ever seen.
  • Another Coffee Spot in a Victorian arcade: Birmingham's Yorks Espresso Bar.
  • Darkroom Espresso in Swindon, where the Coffee Spot Lighting Calendar was conceived.
  • Saint Espresso at the Angel, Islington, has a fantastic light-fitting in the window.
  • York's Brew & Brownie has great breakfasts as well as great lighting!
  • The Deangate branch of Manchester's Grindsmith. The picture says it all.
  • All of the Notes have great lighting, but the Crossrail Place branch gets the nod.
The lovely Society Cafe in The Corridor, Bath. Elegant and refined.1 Soho Grind, with some amazing, atmospheric lighting upstairs and down.2 Small Batch's Norfolk Square Branch, great use of an old bank branch.3 Boston's Pavement Coffeehouse on Gainsborough Street.4 Sheffield's Tamper Coffee in Sellers Wheel is a lovely setting for a coffee shop.5 Artisan in Ealing has some of the most inventive lamp shades that I've ever seen.6 Another Coffee Spot in a Victorian arcade: Birmingham's Yorks Espresso Bar.7 Darkroom Espresso in Swindon, where the Coffee Spot Lighting Calendar was conceived.8 Saint Espresso at the Angel, Islington, has a fantastic light-fitting in the window.9 York's Brew & Brownie has great breakfasts as well as great lighting!10 The Deangate branch of Manchester's Grindsmith. The picture says it all.11 All of the Notes have great lighting, but the Crossrail Place branch gets the nod.12
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There are 12 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

A black circle surrounding a woman in silhouette blowing on a cup of coffee. The words "Society Cafe with love from Bath" are written around the circle.

Society Café, The Corridor

Regular readers will know that I have a love for Coffee Spots in Victorian Arcades and Bath’s Society Café is a great example, even if the Corridor is actually a Georgian shopping arcade! Regardless, this is an amazing space, serving great coffee and with some exceptional light-fittings. Society Café has also been shortlisted for the 2015 Best Filter Coffee Award.

The Soho Grind logo from the back wall of Soho Grind: the word Soho written in black script over GRIND in red capitals.

Soho Grind

Soho Grind has some beautiful, atmospheric lighting, both downstairs in the basement and upstairs, where it featured in the Coffee Spot Lighting Calendar. Soho Grind was also shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award.

Sunrise above Brighton Sea Front, with the slogan "Small Batch Coffee: Brighton & Hove's Finest Since 2006".

Small Batch, Norfolk Square

The latest of Small Batch’s Brighton & Hove coffee shops is in an old bank branch which it puts to excellent use, including an island counter and some wonderful circular light-fittings hanging down from the ceiling. Small Batch has also been shortlisted for the Best Physical Space Award.

A plain white mug with the words "Pavement Coffeehouse" in black, The logo is completed by a drawing of an arm and hand holding a coffee mug, the arm bent to mimic the curve of the mug's handle.

Pavement Coffeehouse, Gainsborough

Probably my favourite of all the branches of Boston‘s Pavement Coffeehouse, the Gainsborough branch has a wonderful atmosphere, reminiscent of a European coffeehouse. It’s also got some fantastic light-fittings and serves some excellent Counter Culture coffee.

 

The Tamper Coffee logo painted in black on the whitewashed side of Sellers Wheel. The words "Tamper Coffee Bar" written in a ring around the outline of tamper.

Tamper Coffee, Sellers Wheel

There’s something about Sheffield, which has some outstanding Coffee Spots, including the second branch of Tamper Coffee. Two coffee shops in one, with a coffee lounge at the front and a large restaurant area at the back, there are some wonderful lights in both areas, but especially at the front. Tamper was also shortlisted for the Best Breakfast Award.

A "wheel of fortune" style wheel from Artisan, Ealing. When a customer gets enough stamps on a loyalty card, instead of getting a free coffee, a spin of the wheel is offered instead, with eight options ranging from a glass of tap water to a bag of beans or five free coffees.

Artisan, Ealing

The third of four Artisans, the Ealing branch is the biggest, with a coffee school at the back. Full of upcycled furniture, the atmosphere in the back is amazing, helped by some of the most innovative lamp-shapes I’ve ever seen, made of old paper bags with various shapes cut out of them.

 

The front of Yorks Espresso Bar, at the northern end of Birmingham's Great Western Arcade. The door is on the left, and the window-bar is clearly visible through the window to its right.

Yorks Espresso Bar

The second of the Yorks Bakery Cafe chain in Birmingham, this is another wonderful coffee shop set in a Victorian Arcade, with the added advantage that the Great Western Arcade is actually Victorian. Split over two levels, with a cosy mezzanine level, the lighting is provided by naked light bulbs protruding from copper pipes that run across the ceilings and down the walls. Yorks has also been shortlisted for the Best Physical Space Award.

A lovely latte-art swan in a flat white from Darkroom Espresso.

Darkroom Espresso

Swindon‘s Darkroom Espresso is where the  Coffee Spot Lighting Calendar was conceived by regular customer and friend of the Coffee Spot, Sharon. As well as serving some great coffee, Darkroom Espresso, perversely given its name, has some great lighting. Darkroom Espresso has also been shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.

From a black board behind the counter at Saint Espresso: "Crafting Coffee with Religious Care".

Saint Espresso

Saint Espresso, at the Angel, Islington, has a sun drenched, south-facing façade, but despite this, it also has some amazing light-fittings, including a particularly fine example in the window. Saint Espresso has also been shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee and Best Cake Awards.

Four mini-American pancakes, in a clover-leaf arrangement, seen from above.

Brew & Brownie

York‘s Brew & Brownie has, quite rightly, made a name for itself with some excellent breakfasts, including the American pancakes in the picture, which earned Brew & Brownie a spot on the shortlist for this year’s Best Breakfast Award. However, Brew & Brownie also has some lovely light-fittings, including a row of light-bulbs in jam jars hanging above the counter.

A diamond light-bulb hanging over the counter in Grindsmith, Deansgate.

Grindsmith, Deansgate

The original Grindsmith pod, still down by the river in Manchester, despite the recent floods, could easily have made the shortlist. However, it was pipped at the post by the new Grindsmith at Deansgate, which has many fine light-fittings, including these amazing diamond light-bulbs which hang over the counter. Grindsmith has also been shortlisted for the Best Physical Space Award.

A lovely flat white in a classic white cup, complete with impressive latte-art at Notes at Crossrail Place.

Notes, Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf

Any of the three branches of Notes that have featured on the Coffee Spot this year could have made this shortlist, but pride of place goes to the latest Notes at Crossrail Place down in Canary Wharf. It was also shortlisted for the Best Physical Space Award.


A special mention also needs to go to the following.

Manchester‘s Grindsmith, a close second to the new branch at Deansgate
Bath‘s Society Café in Kingsmead Square, almost as good as The Corridor
Paris Télescope, owls, great coffee and great lights
London‘s KuPP, a beautifully-fitted out space by the canal in Paddington
London‘s Notes, King’s Cross, pipped at the post by Crossrail Place
Nottingham‘s 200 Degrees Coffee Shop, another amazing space with great lighting
Sheffield‘s Marmadukes Café Deli, which could have won about 10 awards this year
London‘s Jonestown Coffee, applying 90s lighting to speciality coffee
London‘s Jika Jika, Euston Square, with some lovely lighting
London‘s Notes, Canary Wharf, also vying with Crossrail Place for a spot on the shortlist.

And the winner is Society Café, The Corridor
Runners-up: Soho Grind and Artisan, Ealing

Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2015.


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9 thoughts on “2015 Awards – Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting

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