Halfway between Dorchester and Exeter, the Dorset seaside town of Lyme Regis is not somewhere you would stumble upon by accident (the A35, the main Dorchester-to-Exeter road, runs a few miles inland, requiring a very deliberate detour to reach Lyme Regis). With a permanent population of less than 4,000 people, it’s not somewhere you’d expect to find one of the country’s best speciality coffee shops either, but tucked away halfway up a hill on Silver Street, there’s the wonderful Amid Giants & Idols.
A warm, friendly place, run by the lovely Xanne, stepping into Amid Giants & Idols is a bit like popping round to her place for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake, where she entertains you in her (slightly) over-sized sitting room. It really is that cosy and informal. If that’s all there was to Amid Giants & Idols, then it would be a pretty special place, but add to that some wonderful coffee, as good as you’ll find, and you’re onto a real winner. That it’s all roasted (with passion, as it says on the A-board outside) on a vintage Swadlo roaster in a shed at the back of shop, is an unexpected bonus.