2021 Awards – Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting

My flat white, made with the guest coffee, a washed El Salvador, and served at The Smithy, one of two Ue Coffee Roasters shops in Witney. I've drunk half of my flat white, which reveals Ue Coffee Roasters written on the inside rim of the cup.Kicking off the second day is the shortlist for the 2021 Coffee Spot Award for “Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting”. This was won last year by Ue Coffee Roasters at The Old Smithy.

Lighting in coffee shops has long held a fascination for me, with most of the galleries containing a shot or two of an interesting light-fitting. This Award celebrates those Coffee Spots with particularly outstanding lighting.

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • The Coffee Traveller, with some interesting lights and other fittings throughout the shop.
  • FLTR Coffee, great coffee, lovely lights.
  • Tilt: craft beer, speciality coffee, pinball. What the sign doesn't mention: great lighting too!
  • Mikki Refur, a stylish coffee shop/wine bar with some fabulous lighting.
  • The original Java Roastery has some outstanding light fittings.
  • Maya, artisan bakery and coffee shop, and home to some lovely light fittings.
  • It always pays to look up at Bank Street Social (so you can admire the lights).
  • The Eclectic Collection is eclectic about pretty much everything, including the lighting.
  • Nikki's, flying the flag (and various light fittings) for speciality coffee since 2014.
  • Taylor's Coffee House, like a collection of living rooms, each with some great lighting.
The Coffee Traveller, with some interesting lights and other fittings throughout the shop.1 FLTR Coffee, great coffee, lovely lights.2 Tilt: craft beer, speciality coffee, pinball. What the sign doesn't mention: great lighting too!3 Mikki Refur, a stylish coffee shop/wine bar with some fabulous lighting.4 The original Java Roastery has some outstanding light fittings.5 Maya, artisan bakery and coffee shop, and home to some lovely light fittings.6 It always pays to look up at Bank Street Social (so you can admire the lights).7 The Eclectic Collection is eclectic about pretty much everything, including the lighting.8 Nikki's, flying the flag (and various light fittings) for speciality coffee since 2014.9 Taylor's Coffee House, like a collection of living rooms, each with some great lighting.10
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There are ten Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

A classic espresso in a classic black cup, served at The Coffee Traveller in Chiswick.The Coffee Traveller

The Coffee Traveller, down by the Thames in Chiswick, is a lovely, quirky spot with a gorgeous sheltered garden (which earned it a spot on the shortlist for the Best Outdoor Seating Award). However, it’s down to the equally quirky light fittings that The Coffee Traveller is getting this shortlist underway. My personal favourites are the light bult in a bicycle wheel and the bath-tub lampshade.

The FLTR Coffee logo at the back of FLTR Coffee in Bicester.FLTR Coffee

Moving up to Biscester and to FLTR Coffee, where neat light fittings abound, along with some excellent coffee from Dark Woods Coffee. The coffee shop is at the end of a small parade of shops in what could be a fairly nondescript space, but the light fittings really lift it above the ordinary. FLTR Coffee has, appropriately enough, been shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee Award.

Details of the new (to me, at least) A-board from outside Tilt in Birmingham, promising craft beer, speciality coffee and pinball.Tilt

From Bicester, we continue up the M40 to Birmingham and Tilt, where I have long admired the light fittings (so much so that Tilt was a runner-up for the 2016 Coffee Spot Award for Best Lighting). When I returned earlier this year, the light fittings were just as striking! Tilt has also been shortlisted for this year’s Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award.

 

Detail from the window of Mikki Refur: Kaffi & Vin.Mikki Refur

From Birmingham, we head over to Reykjavik, Iceland, where Mikki Refur is a recently opened coffee shop and wine bar with some lovely interior fittings to go some excellent coffee from local roaster, Kvörn (so good that Mikki Refur is on the shortlist for the Best Flat White Award as well). However, it’s the various light fittings, including the one made of snow shoes that hangs in the entry lobby, that gets Mikki Refur a place on this shortlist.

Ignite your passion: detail from the wall in the back corner of Java Roastery in Moseley.Java Roastery, Moseley Village

We’re back in Birmingham with the original Java Roastery in Moseley Village. This is a lovely spot (which has been shortlisted for the Best Physical Space Award) with an awesome basement (which has been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award). There are some great lights down in the basement, but the best ones are upstairs, particularly the one in the corner at the back.

Detail from the A-board outside Maya in Weybridge, boasting fresh, homemade sandwiches and sourdough bread.Maya

Back at the other end of the M40 in Weybridge is Maya, a self-styled artisan micro-bakery and coffee house on the appropriately-named Baker Street, where it has established itself as part of the local community (earning it a place on the shortlist for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award). Although it’s a bright, light-filled spot with big windows at the front, it also has some very fine light fittings.

The latte art in my flat white at Bank Street Social in Wrexham.Bank Street Social

From Weybridge, we head to Wrexham in North Wales, home to Bank Street Social. This is a small spot (small enough for a place on the Smallest Coffee Spot Award shortlist), but it packs a lot in. As well as some excellent Neighbourhood Coffee, there’s the wonderful lighting, which has earned Bank Street Social a place on this shortlist. And, to round things off, Bank Street Social is also on the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award shortlist.

A classic flat white with some lovely latte art, served in a classic black cup at The Eclectic Collection.The Eclectic Collection

Back to London and The Eclectic Collection in Earlsfield, a rather amazing place with an eclectic interior design (good enough for a place on the Best Physical Space shortlist), which extends to the light fittings and the “let’s misbehave” signs in pink neon. Oh, and the coffee, from Berlin’s The Barn, is pretty good too, earning it a place on the shortlist for Best Flat White.

The sign from the back of Nikki's in Weybridge, with white letters on a black background.Nikki’s

From Earlsfield, it’s not far to Weybridge and Nikki’s, which has been flying the flag for speciality coffee in the town since 2014. Serving a bespoke house blend, roasted by Copper Coffee Roasters in Cobham, Nikki’s has some lovely interior lighting (and a rather striking mural). Nikki’s has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.

The front of Taylor's Coffee House, seen from Station Approach, with the vines growing across the edge of the roof and tables either side of the recessed, central door.Taylor’s Coffee House

Our final entry doesn’t see us going far, just to West Byfleet, where Taylor’s Coffee House has been plying its trade in a parade of shops near the station (hence the place on the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station shortlist). It’s a lovely spot, like a collection of sitting rooms (ditto the Best Physical Space shortlist), but it’s the wonderful collection of light fittings which earns it a place on this shortlist.


And the winner is Taylor’s Coffee House
Runners-up: FLTR Coffee and Mikki Refur

Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2021.


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