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.
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|
|Chain||No||Visits||Original: 23rd April 2021
Update: 21st May 2021
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