Society Café, The Corridor Update

The mural on the wall of the basement in Society Cafe, The Corridor, in Bath, showing flowers growing in a coffee cup, with a small animal peaking its head out.Last month, Amanda and I paid a brief visit to Bath. After an afternoon exploring the fabulous Roman Baths, we retreated to the nearby Society Café in The Corridor, which I’d last visited just over five years ago, a quite shameful state of affairs that can only partly be blamed on my ridiculous travel schedule.

The second Society Café in Bath, after the original on Kingsmead Square, I found that, in many ways, little had changed, although for the last two years, Society has been using Origin as its house-roaster, rather than Round Hill Roastery (Round Hill still makes regular appearances as a guest). The upstairs had also received something of a makeover, introducing some more seating a giving the décor a little more colour.

However, the main change came when the basement was opened last year, doubling the amount of seating available. Naturally, Amanda and I had to explore.

You can see what I found after the gallery.

  • The Corridor, Bath, home to the second Society Café, seen here in 2014.
  • It's at the start of The Corridor, on the right, the door slightly inset to the left.
  • There's a large window down the left-hand side, running along The Corridor.
  • A panorama from just inside the door. Like all the photos so far, this is from 2014.
  • Back then, the main seating was to the left of the counter.
  • ... while the rest was by the window, as seen in this panorama looking the other way.
  • The window seating in more detail.
  • The counter, with its wonderful lighting, is at the back, with the menus...
  • ... hanging on the wall behind the counter. This is what they looked like in 2014...
  • ... and this is what they looked like on my return five years later in 2019.
  • The espresso machine, a three-group La Marzocco Linea, is off to the right...
  • ... along with this twin grinder set-up. These days...
  • ... the Linea is blue and the grinders have been upgraded, but it's basically the same.
  • Back in 2014, there were a set of retail shelves alongside the stairs to the basement...
  • ... which have been replaced by additional seating. More importantly, there this sign.
  • Back in 2014, this was staff only. Now it's used for extra seating. Let's go down, shall we?
  • Turning left at the bottom of the stairs, you're greeted by a pair of tables...
  • ... which run along the back wall, joined by three more down the left-hand side.
  • A different view of the two tables at the back...
  • ... and a more general view of the L-shaped bench along the left-hand and back walls.
  • There's more, though. This two-person bar is against the side of the stairs, beyond which...
  • ... at the front, tucked under the stairs, are three armchairs and their coffee tables.
  • I like the artwork down here, where pictures line the walls...
  • ... although this mural was my favourite.
  • I was also a fan of the two large mirrors along the left-hand wall.
  • Time to go back upstairs, where you order at the counter.
  • These days, the decor upstairs is a lot less sparse. There's this bookcase, for example...
  • ... while the bicycle, which used to hang over the stairs, has been replaced by this picture.
  • Moving with the times, Society now sells these Huksee reusable cups.
  • Let's get down to business. Amanda and I shared this banana and chocolate loaf...
  • ... while I had an Aeropress of this Ethiopian single-origin from Round Hill...
  • ... served in a metal jug with a cup on the side.
  • Amanda, meanwhile, had a flat white with some amazing latte art.
  • Here's a second look, if you can bear it.
  • The pattern, impressively, lasted all the way to the bottom of the cup.
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Society Café is at the front of The Corridor, Bath’s gorgeous Georgian shopping arcade. It has a simple, rectangular layout, with floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides. The short side faces the High Street, the long side running along the central corridor. When I first visited, in October 2014, there wasn’t much seating, just a pair of window bars, with the counter at the back.

On my return, little had changed, although the décor, which had originally been all clean lines and white, had softened a little, pictures lining the walls. A little more seating had been added upstairs, a third bar lining the staircase to the basement (this had previously held the retail shelves, now relocated to the back of the counter). Other than that, little had changed, except, of course, for the sign at the top of the stairs. Whereas this had once announced that the basement was off-limits, these days it proclaims “more seating downstairs”.

The enclosed staircase starts at the front of Society, running down along the right-hand wall, depositing you at the back of the small basement, which feels slightly shorter than the corresponding space upstairs. It’s a wonderful, cosy spot, with an L-shaped, padded bench running along the back and left-hand walls, complete with five two-person tables (two at the back, three down the left-hand side). Opposite this is a two-person bar against the wall of the stairs, while tucked away under the stairs at the front are three comfortable armchairs, each with a small, half-circle coffee table.

The décor downstairs matches the revamped upstairs, with multiple pictures on the walls, including a wonderful mural on the wall above the two-person bar. There’s also a set of bookcases in the corner under the stairs and, in another nice touch, two long mirrors run along the left-hand wall above the tables, which help give the basement a sense of space.

Amanda and I shared a wonderful, sweet, moist banana and chocolate loaf. Amanda paired this with a flat white made with the house coffee, a washed Nicaraguan Las Colinas from Origin. She declared it excellent, striking a good balance between coffee and milk, the chocolate notes matching the cake.

I had the filter option, an Aeropress of a natural Ethiopian Buku Sayisa #1 from Round Hill Roastery, which was a full-bodied, complex coffee. I’d describe it as fruity, while Amanda tasted berries and spring flowers.

There’s a full write-up of Society Café, including a complete gallery, in its main entry. You can also see what I made of it in my original write-up, from October 2014.

December 2019: Society Café, The Corridor has won the 2019 Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award.

THE CORRIDOR • 19 HIGH STREET • BATH • BA1 5AJ +44 (0) 1225 442 433
Monday 07:30 – 18:30 Roaster Origin + Guests (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 07:30 – 18:30 Seating Window Bars, Bench (outside)
Wednesday 07:30 – 18:30 Food Sandwiches, Cakes
Thursday 07:30 – 18:30 Service Order at Counter
Friday 07:30 – 18:30 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 07:30 – 18:30 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 09:00 – 18:00 Power No
Chain Regional Visits Original: 13th October 2014
Update: 25th November 2019

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3 thoughts on “Society Café, The Corridor Update

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