We kick off the second day with shortlist for the 2018 Coffee Spot Award for “Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting”. This was won last year by London Grind.
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.
There are 12 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
Exeter’s Exe Coffee Roasters has some lovely lighting made from old espresso boilers (see the photo to the left). There are also lights made from old colanders, an excellent example of upcycling if ever I saw one. It’s also a lovely space and could have been on the shortlist for the Best Basement Award, only the basement wasn’t open to the public when I was there. Exe Coffee Roasters has also been shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee Award.
The sole entry from Northern Ireland on the shortlist, The Pocket, which has a strong Alice in Wonderland theme, also has some pretty awesome lighting. This includes lots of exposed light bulbs which look great against the bare brick walls and also when reflected in the windows. The Pocket is also shortlisted for this year’s Best Outdoor Seating and Best Cake Awards.
Miami’s Panther Coffee has some excellent lighting, starting with the neon Panther Coffee logo sign. This includes exposed light bulbs in cages (like the one to the left) and some lovely light bulbs in glass domes. The reflections of the lights in the glass kept me amused for ages! Panther Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
The Nottingham-based 200 Degrees chain has always had some excellent lighting and the branch in Leeds is no exception. All the usual favourites are there, including the neon fireplace, the exposed light-bulbs in cages, the fancy lamp shades and the occasional multi-lamp chandelier. The lighting is worth the entry price (usually one cup of coffee, minimum) alone! 200 Degrees has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Cake Award.
Moss Coffee is a relatively new entrant in Chester, a lovely little spot near the station. It has a lot going for it, not least some excellent lighting, starting with the obligatory exposed bulbs, although these look to be of the low-power variety to me, so kudos to Moss Coffee for that. I was also taken by the strange geometric “shades”. Moss Coffee was also shortlisted for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station and Most Popular Coffee Spot Awards.
The Black Penny, in West Central London, has been around for a while. It’s a gorgeous building with some stunning light fittings. I lost count of the number of exposed light bulbs, some hanging down from the ceiling on their own, while others are on the ends of angled pipes. The highlight is the clusters of bulbs, particularly those over the espresso machine at the front of the counter. Also on the Best Physical Space Award shortlist.
Hanoi’s RuNam Bistro is a beautifully-appointed building, complete with a lovely upstairs and a wonderful balcony. However, as elegant as the physical space is, the light fittings are just as good, matching the bistro’s general fit out, blow for blow. I was particularly taken by the cylinders that hang down over the counter. RuNam Bistro has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Physical Space Award.
Veldrome Coffee Co was a find on my recent Midwest road trip, a lovely coffee shop and roastery in Marquette on the southern shores of Lake Superior. However, what’s got it onto this particular shortlist is the rather fabulous pipework chandelier that hangs in the side room at the back. The tin ceiling’s also kind of neat. Velodrome Coffee Co. has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Roaster/Retailer Award.
A second entry from Chester, Short + Stout opened in Hoole this summer to much acclaim. While, quite rightly, people praised the coffee and the brunches, I also found the light-fittings caught my eye, particularly the open metal lattice light “shade” that I spent ages photographing from every angle… I’m sure everyone does that and it’s not just me… Short + Stout has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Breakfast Award.
Beijing’s Metal Hands Coffee Co has a very distinctive look and feel, one that would be familiar to coffee shop visitors all over the world. That said, the lighting is very on-point, with plenty of exposed bulbs at the ends of copper pipes hanging down from the ceiling or poking out of walls. There are also some lovely glass lamp shades. Metal Hands has also been shortlisted for the Smallest Coffee Spot Award.
Cheltenham’s Coffee Dispensary, in the heart of the city, has several notable features, not least the coffee, but I was drawn to the lovely lighting, particular the multiple strings of bulbs hanging down from a central ceiling rose in the front and back rooms. I also liked the geometric metal “shade” (ie offers no shade at all) which made it into this year’s Coffee Spot Calendar.
Glasgow’s Toro Coffee has been open for even less time than Short + Stout, but it has made just as big a splash. Like Short + Stout, my eyes were drawn to the excellent light-fittings, with their exposed bulbs in wide metal cages, topped off with metal domes. They did prove rather photogenic… Toro Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee and the Happiest Staff Awards.
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2018.
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