The Old Roastery Coffee Shop Update

The coffee menu above the espresso machine at The Old Roastery Coffee Shop.Today’s Coffee Spot Update is a first of sorts. Over the last year, I’ve revisited Coffee Spots to see how they’ve been coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this is the first time I’ve revisited somewhere that opened during the pandemic to see how it’s managing as the COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed. It’s also the first time this year that I sat inside a coffee shop to drink coffee.

The place in question is The Old Roastery Coffee Shop in Merrow. Part of Redber Coffee Roasters, I first visited exactly four weeks earlier, at the end of its first week of trading. Back then, you could only sit outside, but since the middle of May, the restrictions have been relaxed to allow customers to sit inside. I remember thinking at the time that the interior of The Old Roastery Coffee Shop looked lovely, so I thought I’d pop back to see if I was right!

Other than being able to sit inside, the main change is a move from the Café Français blend to the Signature Blend on espresso. However, The Old Roastery Coffee Shop is still only able to serve in disposable cups, so don’t forget to bring your own.

You can see what I made of it all after the gallery.

  • The Old Roastery Coffee Shop in Merrow on a rainy day in May...
  • ... and here looking much brighter when I'd visited exactly four weeks before.
  • Back then, you could only sit outside, either in front of the coffee shop, or over here.
  • You had to go inside to order, but it looked like this, with the chairs on the tables.
  • Compare that to how it looks now, with the interior finally open!
  • The counter, where you order and collect your coffee, is still at the back on the right.
  • Once you've got your coffee, take a seat. This is the view from the counter...
  • ... while here's the view from the back, where there's a clear route to the door.
  • Let's start our tour with this two-person window-bar to the right of the door.
  • Opposite this, under the window to the left of the door, is this large, two-person sofa.
  • It looks very cosy, doesn't it?
  • Next, on the left, comes this six-person bar between the pillar and the wall...
  • ... beyond which are  a pair of four-person tables.
  • A view back at one of the tables and the six-person bar.
  • And finally, a view of the bar looking towards the front, with the sofa beyond.
  • There's more seating on the other side, where this five-person table is behind the pillar...
  • ... which brings us back to the counter.
  • There are plenty of retail shelves, starting with these to the right of the counter...
  • ... and continuing with these to the right of the door.
  • The walls, meanwhile, have coffee sacks for decoration...
  • ... while the flowers on the tables are a nice touch.
  • To business. You order at the counter...
  • ... where you'll find a chiller cabinet at the left-hand end...
  • ... with cakes and pastries on top...
  • ... and sandwiches and wraps down below.
  • There are sausages rolls and other savouries behind that, along with a full food menu.
  • Back on the counter are more cakes and snacks...
  • ... while the espresso machine is at the far end...
  • ... where you'll also find the coffee and tea menu.
  • Let's put the espresso machine to work, shall we?
  • I decided to try the Signature Blend as an espresso...
  • ... which I had in my SoL Cup.
  • My espresso, from above.
  • I also had a late lunch, taking the last vegan cheese and mushroom toastie.
  • I was sufficiently impressed with my espresso that I bought some beans to take home...
  • ... the first time in ages that I can remember buying coffee with 'dark roast' on the bag.
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One of the things I noted about The Old Roastery Coffee Shop on my first visit was that it took a bit of finding. This time, knowing where I was going, it was much easier, aided by the absence of the roadworks which had made things so difficult the first time around. Located at the end of a yard in an industrial estate, the setting is much nicer than it sounds, as I discovered on my first visit. Back then, you could only sit outside, either at a pair of tables in front of the coffee shop, or across the yard in a more extensive (and surprisingly green) outdoor seating area.

The day of my return was a particularly cold and rainy day, so I was very glad I could scurry into The Old Roastery Coffee Shop’s bright and spacious interior. Occupying a simple, rectangular space with windows at the front and down the left-hand side, you’ll find the counter on the right at the back. Order here, collect your coffee, then take a seat.

You have plenty of choice in this regard, starting with a two-person window-bar to the right of the door. This is followed by some the retail shelves on the right-hand wall and then comes a pillar with a three-person table in front of it and a five-person behind. This brings you to the counter, with more retail shelves on the right-hand wall.

There’s even more seating on the left, starting with a two-person sofa under the window to the left of the door. Next comes a six-person bar, which fills the gap between the wall and a pillar which mirrors the one on the right. Beyond this are two four-person tables, the second of which is opposite the counter.

Sometimes roastery coffee shops can be rather functional affairs, but it’s clear that plenty of thought has gone into making The Old Roastery Coffee Shop a pleasant and welcoming environment, the sort of place that you could happily spend an hour or two at. While my first visit had unavoidably brief (I’d arrived 20 minutes before closing), this time I’d allowed myself more time, have the last vegan cheese and mushroom toastie as a late lunch.

Since my first visit, the espresso has changed from the Café Français (which I had in a flat white) to the Signature Blend, which I tried as an espresso. Both are classed as dark roasts, but the Signature Blend is definitely lighter, producing a very fine, well-balanced shot with a touch of acidity that I really enjoyed in my SoL Cup. I was sufficiently impressed that I bought a bag of the beans to have at home in my morning cafetiere. It’s saying something that I can’t remember the last time I bought a dark roast for home!

MERROW DEPOT • MERROW LANE • GUILDFORD • GU4 7BQ
www.redber.co.uk +44 (0)1483 808580
Monday 07:30 – 16:00 Roaster Redber Coffee Roasters (espresso only)
Tuesday 07:30 – 16:00 Seating Sofa, Window-bar, Tables; Tables (outside)
Wednesday 07:30 – 16:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Thursday 07:30 – 16:00 Service Counter (coffee)/Order at Counter (food)
Friday 07:30 – 16:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday CLOSED Wifi Free
Sunday CLOSED Power Yes
Chain No Visits Original: 23rd April 2021
Update: 21st May 2021

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  1. Pingback: The Old Roastery Coffee Shop (COVID-19) | Brian's Coffee Spot

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