Following Monday’s Coffee Spot, Prestatyn’s Caffeina Coffi, here’s a second North Wales speciality coffee shop which opened in June this year, albeit a little further along the coast at Conwy. The Jester’s Tower Coffee House has several claims to fame, including being run by Conwy’s Town Jester and being housed in a 13th century postern tower, part of Conwy’s town walls. It’s this latter fact that puts it in the select band of speciality coffee shops in medieval postern towers, where it joins York’s Perky Peacock.
The Jester’s Tower Coffee House has the Landmark blend from Llandudno’s Heartland Coffee Roasters on espresso, offering the usual range of drinks, while there’s a seasonal single-origin on filter, currently Heartland’s Brazil Caparao Lot #11. However, there’s a lot more than just coffee, with The Jester’s Tower offering tea, soft drinks, a range of seasonal (summer) drinks, an all-day breakfast menu, sandwiches and bagels at lunchtime (11:30 – 15:00) and plenty of cake.
You can enjoy all of this in the tower itself, either upstairs (with some gorgeous views) or in the basement-like lower floor. There’s also outdoor seating at the tower’s base, tucked away under a flat roof to the left of the stairs.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Conwy has one of the best examples of King Edward I’s castles, plus the UK’s most complete set of medieval town walls, both of which are worth visiting. The Jester’s Tower Coffee House is in one of two postern towers in the town walls, visible from the walls of Conwy Castle, just across Castle Square from the castle’s main entrance.
From the castle, you approach along the left-hand side of Castle Square (which is a triangle), with The Jester’s Tower at the back, next to the original postern gate, which, over the years, has been widened to allow easy access through the town walls to the harbour. There’s a small, outdoor seating area on your left, starting with a two-person table out in the open next to the pavement. After a couple of broad steps, you reach a sheltered area under a flat roof containing three round, three-person tables.
The outdoor seating’s at the foot of an external stone staircase which leads to the top floor of the tower, where you’ll find the door on your left. Although The Jester’s Tower Coffee House only opened in June, the tower has been home to a coffee shop for many years. I can remember visiting over 10 years ago, in my pre-Coffee Spot days, although I wasn’t that impressed with the coffee, preferring Anna’s Tea Rooms on the nearby Castle Street.
Stepping inside brings you into the back of the tower, where the layout will look very familiar to anyone who has visited over the last few years. That said, the Town Jester has plans to radically rework the back of the tower to create bar-style seating at the counter and there may be further overhauls to come.
For now, the counter is inset into the back wall on the left (as you look at the front of the tower) with the kitchen, where all the food is prepared, tucked away behind the wall on the right. There’s a small display-case between the door and the counter, housing some coffee kit and Goat Story reusable cups.
The seating is at the front, where two windows are recessed in the deep walls of the tower, one on the left and the other in the middle. Each has a pair of benches on either side of the window, with a small coffee in the middle, while there’s a two-person sofa against the wall between the windows.
The bulk of the seating is on the right, with a cluster of four armchairs around a coffee table at the front and a sofa and two more armchairs at the back. These are separated by a narrow staircase which leads down to the tower’s lower floor. This is very basement-like, with no windows in the bare, stone walls, and currently contains a pair of three-person sofas, plus an armchair under the stairs and another three-person sofa and two more armchairs opposite.
When it comes to coffee, The Jester’s Tower Coffee House uses Heartland Coffee Roasters, based just across the Conwy in Llandudno. I had an espresso, made with the Landmark blend, a nicely-pulled shot producing a slightly old-school espresso, rich and dark. Amanda, meanwhile, asked nicely and had the seasonal guest single-origin (normally available as batch-brew filter) as a pour-over. This was the Brazil Caparao Lot #11, the same anaerobic natural coffee that I had as the guest espresso at Caffi Caban.
We paired this with some cake, Victoria sponge for me, and carrot cake for Amanda. I enjoyed my Victoria sponge, but the carrot cake was the clear winner, rich and moist, with a lovely butter-cream topping.
|CASTLE SQUARE • CONWY • LL32 8AY|
|Monday||CLOSED||Roaster||Heartland (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||09:00 – 17:00||Seating||Window Seats, Sofas; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||09:00 – 17:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||09:00 – 17:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||09:00 – 17:00||Payment||Cash + Cards|
|Saturday||09:00 – 17:00||Wifi||Free|
|Sunday||09:30 – 16:00||Power||No|
|Chain||No||Visits||10th September 2021|
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