Lemana Coffee & Kitchen Update

The Lemana Coffee & Kitchen logo from the sign on the wall at the end of Madeira Mews in Lymington.I first visited Lemana Café in Lymington in November 2013. Since then, it’s been a semi-regular feature of my annual trips to the area and I’ve watched it grow with interest. There was a rebrand in 2015, when it became Lemana Coffee & Kitchen, switching over to serve Has Bean coffee, but still retaining its roots as a lovely, friendly, family-run café with great food. Over the years I’ve also kept touch with various family members on social media, so it was something of a surprise when, in May this year, I learnt that Lemana had changed hands.

The good news is that Lemana Coffee & Kitchen had been taken over as a going concern, but would the new owner, Cathryn, want to change things? It was therefore with some trepidation that, last Friday, I ventured over to Lymington on my annual visit to see what had become of Lemana…

You can see what I found after the gallery.

  • Just off Lymington High Street is the familiar sign of Lemana Coffee & Kitchen.
  • But what's this on the A-board? Under new management? Let's investigate!
  • At the end of Madeira Mews, Lemana Coffee & Kitchen looks much as it always did.
  • This is a similar view from my very first visit in 2013!
  • Back then, the courtyard in front of the cafe was packed with tables, which, by 2018...
  • ... were no longer there. Never fear, though. Lemana still has outside seating...
  • ... it's just sheltering (perhaps only for the winter) in this gazebo at the back.
  • There are other changes, as this A-board shows: single-origin V60/Aeropress filter coffee!
  • The next change is inside. The counter, to the right of the door, looked like this in 2013...
  • ... and had changed to look like this on my return two years later in 2015.
  • By 2018 it had got this rather wonderful tiled front, which I heartily approve of!
  • The seating still stretches away to the left...
  • ... but these days it's rather more uniform that it used to be.
  • Back in 2013, it could best be described as eclectic...
  • ... with an interesting mix of different styles and sizes of table...
  • These chairs, which were from 2013, had gone by the time I returned in 2015...
  • ... as had these armchairs.
  • The fireplace, with this table in front of it, wasn't originally much of a feature...
  • ... although now it's looking much nicer!
  • The original brightly coloured walls have been repainted in more subdued colours...
  • ... and decorated with shelves.
  • Even the light-fittings have changed. This is the current (2018) look.
  • One of Lemana's best selling points was its cake. This is from 2013: cake to the right...
  • ... and cake to the left. We're surrounded! I think we might have to eat our way out!
  • The array of cake in 2015 was equally impressive.
  • Meanwhile, this is the cake display from 2018. No sign of standards slipping I see!
  • Back in 2013, the scones were so fierce that they had to be kept in a cage, although by...
  • ... 2015, they'd mellowed enough to be allowed out in polite company. However...
  • ... they had clearly misbehaved at some point. By 2018, they were back in a big glass jar.
  • The main coffee menu is above the counter and in 2013 used to offer various sizes...
  • ... although by 2015, the menu had been considerably simpliified.
  • This is the corresponding menu, still above/behind the counter, from 2018.
  • Now it has a 'know your coffee' section, a description of the different coffee drinks...
  • ... which is also on the wall to the left of the counter.
  • The espresso machine, from 2013, where it was on the wall behind the counter...
  • ... and looking remarkably similar in 2015. By 2018, though, it had migrated to the...
  • .... left of the counter. It's the same model, but I can't tell if it's the same machine.
  • In previous years, I'd made good use of the espresso machine. I had a ristretto in 2013...
  • ... and an espresso on my return in 2015...
  • ... as well as this flat white.
  • The biggest change, coffee-wise, is that Lemana now does single-origin pour-over.
  • I selected the Rwanda Gihombo, prepared through the V60, served in a cafetiere inner...
  • ... with a glass on the side, seen here with some coffee in it.
Javascript Sliders by WOWSlider.com v4.6

The good news is that not much had changed, while what had changed was for the better. The essential layout is the same, with the counter at one end (to your right as you enter) and the seating at the other. The outside seating is still there, but now it’s under the shelter of a plastic gazebo-type structure.

Although I say that little has changed, when I looked at my photos from my first visit in 2013, the décor was actually quite different. Back then it was painted in bright, primary colours, with an eclectic mix of tables of various shapes and sizes. Now the colours are more subdued, and the furniture more uniform, laid out in neat rows. Dare I say it, the new look gives it more of a feel of a speciality coffee shop.

Of course, I can’t tell if this is due to the change of ownership or just a gradual change over the years.  The most important thing, however, is that you still get the warm, friendly welcome, and while the décor has changed, the original atmosphere, which was so much a part of Lemana, is still there, maintained by Cathryn and her staff. This includes Lesley, the manager, and baristas Jass and Oli, all of whom (except Cathryn) I met during my visit.

Food was always Lemana’s strong point, particularly the homemade cakes, and this has continued under the new ownership. There are separate breakfast (until midday) and lunch (from midday until 3:30) menus, with all the food prepared on-site in the kitchen behind the counter. Even better, the excellent cake selection (also all baked on-site) is still there, while there is a range of alcohol which I don’t recall from my previous visits.

However, the biggest change, for me, is with the coffee, Lemana switching to local roaster, Coffee Monger’s Roasting Company, which I visited the following Monday following a tip-off from Jass that it had a small café inside. There is a bespoke blend on espresso, while in the last month or so, Lemana has introduced single-origin filter coffee, with a choice of two beans (an El Salvador and a Rwanda while I was there) through either V60 or Aeropress.

Naturally I had to try the pour-over, selecting the Rwanda as a V60. This was served in a glass cafetiere inner, with a glass/saucer on the side. The coffee had a very clean, clear colour in the carafe and this came across as I drank it, with some lovely, subtle fruity flavours coming through.

In many ways, Lemana was always going to be a hard act to follow, so congratulations to Cathryn and her team, who have preserved the best of the old Lemana and built on it. I look forward to seeing what else they have done when I’m back in Lymington this time next year!

There’s a full write-up of the new Lemana Coffee & Kitchen, including a complete gallery, in its main entry. You can see what I made of Lemana Café on my first visit by reading the original Coffee Spot post, while you can see what changed when I visited in 2015 in my Coffee Spot Update.

December 2018: Lemana Coffee & Kitchen has won the 2018 Best Outdoor Seating Award.

www.lemana.co.uk +44 (0) 1590 675535
Monday CLOSED Roaster Coffee Monger’s (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 08:30 – 16:00 Seating Tables, Tables outside
Wednesday 08:30 – 16:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Thursday 08:30 – 16:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:30 – 16:00 Cards Amex, Visa, Mastercard
Saturday 08:30 – 16:00 Wifi Free
Sunday 10:30 – 15:00 Power Limited
Chain No Visits 21st November 2013, 19th November 2015
23rd November 2018

If you liked this post, please let me know by clicking the “Like” button. If you have a WordPress account and you don’t mind everyone knowing that you liked this post, you can use the “Like this” button right at the bottom instead. [bawlu_buttons]
Don’t forget that you can share this post with your friends using the buttons below.

5 thoughts on “Lemana Coffee & Kitchen Update

  1. Pingback: Lemana Café Update | Brian's Coffee Spot

  2. Pingback: Lemana Coffee & Kitchen | Brian's Coffee Spot

  3. Pingback: Coffee Spot Awards 2019 | Brian's Coffee Spot

  4. Pingback: 2019 Awards – Best Outdoor Seating | Brian's Coffee Spot

  5. Pingback: The Coffee Spot Christmas Gift Guide 2020 | Brian's Coffee Spot

Please let me know what you think. Guidelines for comments are in the "Posts" drop-down menu.