Espresso Farm has been on my radar since it opened in February 2019, but Saturday was the first opportunity I had to pay a visit. Located within Umberslade Farm Park, it’s just south of the M42/M40 junction, making it an excellent alternative to the motorway services if you need a break when travelling in either direction. It’s also worth a visit in its own right and, while it’s easiest to get to by car, if you don’t mind a 35-minute walk along the lanes (or 20 minutes across the fields) it’s also served by Danzey Station on the Birmingham to Stratford line.
For now, just the outside seating is open, but the good news is that there’s plenty of it and the Espresso Farm has the most wonderful setting. It helps that the coffee, from the nearby Monsoon Estates Coffee Company, is excellent, and while Espresso Farm is currently using disposable cups, the staff are happy if you bring your own. As well as the usual espresso-based drinks, there’s batch-brew filter, hot chocolate and a range of tea. If you’re hungry, Espresso Farm can offer an all-day breakfast menu, a selection of toasties and a wide range of cakes.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Espresso Farm is part of the Espresso Station group, a regional chain of five coffee shops, including the Espresso Stations at Birmingham Moor Street and at Dorridge in Solihull, Espresso Barn in Long Marston and the latest venture, Espresso Quarter in Birmingham. The largest one of the five, Espresso Farm closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but reopened on 1st June and has been open ever since.
As an alternative to the motorway services, Espresso Farm is best accessed in either direction from Junction 3 of the M42, a round-trip detour of about 25 minutes. Head for the small village of Tamworth in Arden, where you’ll find the entrance to Umberslade Farm Park clearly signposted. A delightful 500 m tree-lined avenue, which ducks under the railway line, leads to the car park, from where it’s a short walk to the farm buildings.
Espresso Farm occupies a single-storey brick building on your right as you enter the farmyard. For now, a one-way system is in operation, customers entering from the farmyard and exiting on the far side into a lovely, sheltered courtyard. Once the COVID-19 restrictions are further eased (hopefully in May), then the two gorgeous interior seating areas will be reopened, but for now you have to sit outside, with tables in the farmyard, courtyard and, if you want to wander further afield, dotted around the farm.
Returning to the courtyard, there are four round four-person tables, two on either side of the door to Espresso Farm. Alternatively, on the far side of the farmyard, opposite the door, you’ll find a picnic-style four-person table (in front of the pig house). Meanwhile, if you have ordered hot food, this is delivered to a clearly-marked collection point to the right of the tables.
Going inside to order, you’ll find that Espresso Farm occupies an L-shaped building, with the entrance on the downstroke of the L. To your left is the first of the two indoor seating areas, which is off-limits for the moment. Meanwhile, directly ahead is another door, this one leading to the courtyard, and also out-of-use for now.
Instead, go ahead and to your right, where an open doorway leads into bottom half of the L. This section holds the counter, then, at the far end, the second indoor seating area (also off-limits). The one-way system takes you past the counter, which is to your right, where you order and pay, before collecting your coffee at the end of the counter. Then, with a lingering look at the indoor seating, which looks fabulous, you exit into the courtyard through a door on your left.
There’s more seating here, in the shape of another three round, four-person tables, all in a line along the upstroke of the L. This is probably the best of the bunch: while the farmyard is pretty, it is effectively an expanse of concrete, while the courtyard is more secluded with a garden setting. There’s a pair of old barns directly opposite, with another round, four-person table in front of them, while off to the left is the farmhouse, complete with another two of the round, four-person tables.
I was there for lunch, having the excellent avocado on toast, two slices of crunchy sourdough toast, topped with finely-mashed avocado. I paired this with a flat white in my HuskeeCup, made with the seasonal Monsoon Estate blend which produced a very sweet drink, the boldness of the coffee coming strongly through the milk, although in perfect harmony with it. I’m already looking forward to retuning when the indoor seating is reopened and sampling more of the menu!
December 2021: Espresso Farm was a runner-up for the 2021 Best Outdoor Seating Award.
|UMBERSLADE FARM PARK • SOLIHULL • B94 5AE|
|www.espressostation.co.uk||+44 (0) 1564 742251|
|Monday||09:00 – 16:00||Roaster||Monsoon Estates (espresso + batch-brew)|
|Tuesday||09:00 – 16:00||Seating||Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||09:00 – 16:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||09:00 – 16:00||Service||Counter, Order at Counter (Food)|
|Friday||09:00 – 16:00||Payment||Card Only|
|Saturday||09:00 – 16:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||09:00 – 16:00||Power||N/A|
|Chain||Regional||Visits||24th April 2021|
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