Monday’s Coffee Spot is another success story for Guildford’s speciality coffee scene, although it’s been a long time in the telling. Tattam’s is on Tunsgate, occupying the premises vacated by Kalm Kitchen at end of 2019. It opened in October 2020, almost immediately moving to takeaway operation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tattam’s was looking forward to re-opening its outdoor seating in the spring of 2021 when a fire caused severe damage, forcing it to close for refurbishment. Many would have called it a day at that point, but the folks at Tattam’s are made of sterner stuff, pressing on to reopen in November last year.
Tattam’s describes itself as a European-style café offering coffee by day and cocktails in the evening, along with a selection of wine and, if you’re hungry, bar snacks, sharing platters and a range of cakes and pastries. Tattam’s uses local roasters Chimney Fire Coffee, currently offering its seasonal Brazilian espresso, served from a standard espresso-based menu. Tattam’s also has seasonal specials made with homemade syrups: the current offering being a Sticky Coffee Latte. Coffee is served throughout the evening, while there’s decaf available for those, like me, who like to get some sleep!
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
For those with long memories, Guildford’s first speciality coffee shop was Bar des Arts, by day a relaxed, European-style café which morphed into a lively evening bar. Sadly, Bar des Arts closed in October 2015, so I’m delighted that it now has a worthy successor in Tattam’s, similarly a relaxed European-style café by day, which stays open long into the evenings as a cocktail bar. In another synergy, Tattam’s occupies the premises of what was once Glutton & Glee (before it became Kalm Kitchen), a contemporary of Bar des Arts and another pioneer of Guildford’s speciality coffee scene. It’s neat when things come full circle.
For those who remember Glutton & Glee/Kalm Kitchen, the layout is very familiar, with the addition of a collection of five tables outside on the recently-pedestrianised Tunsgate. If you like sitting outside, there’s also the sheltered terrace at the back, now on a single level and fitted with a gazebo (for the winter, at least) which helps keeps the elements off and the heat in. This is home to five two-person tables, with two more on the other side of the back wall in Milkhouse Gate, the quiet square behind Tattam’s.
Inside, the layout is very similar to how it was, with a limited amount of seating in the window at the front (three round, three-person tables), the counter set back on the left, and the stairs leading to the upper floor on the right. Meanwhile, if you’ve come in the front and want the rear terrace, head past the counter and down the corridor to the back door, which opens onto the stairs up to the terrace (you can also enter Tattam’s this way).
The bulk of the seating is upstairs, where Tattam’s has retained the narrow four-person bar along the wall of the enclosed staircase (on the left as you look from the back), plus the padded bench that runs under the solitary window at the front, where you’ll find two round tables. The remaining seating is on the right, with a pair of two-person tables at the back and another pair in the middle, above which is a new addition, a multi-paned wall-mounted mirror.
For now, Tattam’s has a limited food offering, with bar snacks (bread, olives and nus), three sharing platters (charcuterie, cheese and vegan) and a small range of cakes and pastries. There are plans to expand this to include hot food in the near future. When it comes to the cocktails and wine, I’m not really the one to pass comment, so I will stick to the coffee and pastries.
I visited three times, having a pair of flat whites and an espresso, along with a chocolate brownie, a sweet, chewy (in a good way) Danish pastry and a near-perfect croissant, served with butter and jam.
Tattam’s uses Chimney Fire Coffee’s, with plans to try out more of Chimney Fire’s seasonal single-origins, although for now the seasonal Brazilian espresso graces the hopper. On its own, the espresso was well balanced, with a pleasing touch of acidity, while in milk, it was rich and smooth, producing a classic flat white on both occasions. A special mention needs to be made of the excellent latte art which, in both cases, lasted all the way to the bottom of the cup.
|6 TUNSGATE • GUILDFORD • GU1 3QT|
|www.tattams.com||+44 (0) 1483 346050|
|Monday||10:00 – 23:30||Roaster||Chimney Fire (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||CLOSED||Seating||Tables, Bar; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||10:00 – 23:30||Food||Bar Snacks, Sharing Platters, Cake|
|Thursday||10:00 – 23:30||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||10:00 – 23:30||Payment||Card + Cash|
|Saturday||10:00 – 23:30||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||10:00 – 17:00||Power||Yes|
|Chain||No||Visits||9th – 13th January 2022|
If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, then take a look at the rest of Guildford’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Guildford.
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