We kick off the second day with shortlist for the 2017 Coffee Spot Award for “Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting”, although sometimes think it should be called the Sharon Reed prize for outstanding lighting. Last year the lighting award was won by Uncommon Ground Coffee Roastery.
Lighting in coffee shops has long held a fascination, with most 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.
There are 15 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
Cambridge’s Stir occupies a bright, sunny corner with windows on two sides, so you would think that it wouldn’t need any fancy lighting. Not that this has stopped Stir, where fine lighting abounds all around the coffee shop.
The Grind chain of coffee shops and restaurants has long had a reputation for innovative lighting, so it’s no surprise to see London Grind, at the foot of London Bridge, in this year’s shortlist. The red neon signs (“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”) always catch the eye, although I was more taken by the long strip lights that had light-bulbs instead of fluorescent tubes.
In the heart of downtown Boston, Render Coffee 121 is located inside inside the CIC office building, serving as an in-house café as well as being open to the public. It’s a large, open space, but it was the wonderful reflecting globes hanging over the counter that caught my eye and won it a spot on the shortlist.
London coffee shop/roaster chain, Workshop Coffee, has always had an eye for top quality design and the Marylebone branch is no different. It’s a lovely little spot, tucked away in a quiet corner, so it doesn’t get a lot of natural light, relying instead on a range of functional and interesting lights, none more so that the row of large hemispherical light shades hanging above the counter.
I’ve always liked Bristol’s Small St Espresso, a beautiful coffee shop and one of my all-tie favourites. I popped back this year to check out the new annex (which used to house a cash machine for the bank next door). The new annex is just as beautiful as the rest of the store, and has some wonderful lighting to match. Small St Espresso has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Physical Space Award.
San Francisco is not short of beautiful coffee shops, but in a city of exposed bricks and gorgeous old cast iron roasters, Sextant Coffee Roasters (which has both of these), stood out from the crowd with some excellent light-fittings to go with its excellent coffee. I was particularly taken by the row of glass-shaded bulbs running from the front to the back of the store. Sextant has also been shortlisted for the Best Espresso and Best Physical Space Awards.
Glasgow’s The Cran’ is a lovely spot with an eclectic interior that extends to its lighting. This includes a lovely old lantern and some excellent exposed light-bulbs. The Cran’ has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot and Best Physical Space Awards.
Tokyo’s The Local Coffee Stand was a chance discovery on my way to the office when I was there for work in April. As well as some excellent coffee from all over the country, The Local has some excellent lighting. In particular, the glass globes enclosing the light bubs caught my eye, with their multiple reflections. The Local has also been shortlisted for the Most Passionate About Coffee Award.
The new Hoxton North in Harrogate has windows on three of its four sides, so you would think it wouldn’t need any light bulbs. However, it stays open late into the evenings, when it morphs into an interesting little bar. This is when the lights come into their own (unless you visit at five o’clock on December evening). Hoxton North has also been shortlisted for this year’s Happiest Staff Award.
Barefoot Coffee Campbell, just outside San Jose in California, is a lovely spot. Although the front is all glass, with floor-to-ceiling windows flanking a pair of glass doors, it’s a narrow space which goes a long way back, so good lighting is a necessity. However, in terms of this shortlist, it’s the sparkly lampshades that caught my eye, although, in fairness, there’s plenty of excellent lighting all around. Barefoot Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Espresso Award.
My first speciality coffee experience in Vietnam was in The Workshop Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City. Although housed in an old building, inside it’s very modern, having nailed the post-industrial look and feel, full of exposed brick, concrete floors, iron window-frames and with multiple lights hanging from the ceiling, earning it a spot on this shortlist. The Workshop Coffee also made the Best Filter Coffee and Best Physical Space shortlists this year.
Nottingham’s 200 Degrees in another with an excellent eye on design, which includes some outstanding lighting. It’s therefore no surprise that the Leicester branch has made it onto the Best Lighting shortlist. All the usual 200 Degrees features are there, including the neon fireplace (left) and the pendant light-shades. The Leicester branch has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Physical Space Award.
Belfast’s Town Square has many fine features, but I was particularly drawn to the lighting, which includes some lovely exposed bulbs and some vertical strip lights hanging over the tables. However, pride of place is the magnificent lighting rig hanging over the communal table. Town Square has also been shortlisted for this year’s Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award.
The Moon & Sixpence in Cockermouth has a wonderful copper-pipe lighting rig over the counter which was made by the owner’s brother-in-law, very much epitomising the family/community feel of The Moon & Sixpence. Unsurprisingly, it has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award as well as the Best Cake Award.
This year’s final entry is 200 Degrees in Cardiff. There’s not a lot to be said that I haven’t already said about the Leicester branch. All the usual 200 Degrees features are there, including the neon fireplace, pendant light-shades, exposed bulbs over the counter and the tasselled light shades over the benches seats.
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2017.
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