Having now brunched at Cartwheel Cafe and Roastery twice now, today, I decided to continue exploring Nottingham’s local cafes and restaurants that differ from that of a chain branch. I am always on the lookout for a location that serves a menu full of nutritious food that does not lack the delicious taste. The next stop on my independent cafe hunt was The Speciality Coffee Shop.
I was a little apprehensive at first as I do not drink coffee and I was unsure whether the food would compare to that of their specialty coffee. They pride themselves on making the best coffee in town. I was initially drawn to the fact that they use ethically sourced products and when I found out the food is handmade, I was sold! They pride themselves on making their guests smile and creating a community where people can come and enjoy a cup of coffee.
The cafe is located on Friar Lane, about a 12 minute walk from where I’m situated at Nottingham Trent University and a 7 minute walk from the main shopping location of the Victoria Centre. It was very easy to find and is positioned next to lots of other restaurants, including the Kitty Cafe!
When I sat in the coffee shop, it had a lovely warm, cosy vibe and atmosphere. The space was very light and modern, which I loved. I l adored the interior; the patterned wall paper on the back wall really helps to add interest to the space. It assists in tying together their colour scheme of the rest of the decor, counter and chairs: different shades of blue and teal. I also enjoyed the hanging ‘Pinterest-like’ lights with large bulbs on the ends: this small detail again added a focal point to an otherwise block-colour setting. In my opinion, the best parts of their interior were the chalk board behind the counter showing all of the drink options, as well as the retro looking shelves where plants, tea-pots and jars were positioned. Like the Cartwheel, I was surprised by the size of the cafe, it is quite small inside, with limited table space, however this added to the cosy feel to the experience. The whole place had a family atmosphere which definitely made it feel very welcoming.
Not only can visitors sit and order off their drink and/or brunch/lunch menu, they also offer a variety of ready-made sandwich options that are laid out on the counter. I particularly liked how each food item was displayed next to a small sign showing what’s available. On the counter, they also had a display of treats ready to be purchased to take away or eat with a customer’s coffee. These included brownies, Victoria sandwich slices and even pastries such as a pain au chocolat. They also offer fresh fruit and smoothies for those, like me, who do not like their traditional coffee.
Throughout the week, their menu consists of the same breakfast menu Monday to Friday, however for lunch, each day offers something different. Mondays are currently Mediterranean Mondays, Tuesdays are burgers, Wednesday is Quiche and its Taco’s Thursday and Fish Fridays. However, I went for lunch on a Sunday and therefore tried out the brunch weekend menu. The options ranged from toast with toppings, bagels to granola and yogurt. The menu really does cater for all dietary requirements, serving meat, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan meals.
I found it very hard to select what I wanted to try out as a result of the wide variety of choice on offer. I was going to opt for the Scrambled Eggs, Avocado, served on Premium Sour Dough Toast. However, at Cartwheel, I had the smashed avocado and poached eggs on both visits, therefore I wanted to try something completely different. I eventually selected one of the baked egg options. It was a vegetarian choice and was called Huevos Rancheros, which was baked egg in their signature tomato sauce, topped with smashed avo. I just cannot get enough avocado! It also came with cheddar cheese and coriander sprinkled on top and was served with a toasted tortilla.
I loved the simple dish that the baked eggs came in, the presentation was very appetizing! I enjoyed the whole dish and ate it all; it definitely did satisfy my lunch cravings! I will without a doubt be back to try out other items off the menu. I’m thinking next time I will opt for the Homemade Baked Beans option which I was torn between on this last visit. This consists of mixed beans, in a rich tomato sauce, served on premium sour dough toast. I would definitely recommend this lunch/bunch spot and coffee shop. I loved how friendly the staff were they were and how welcoming they were to all us visitors.
When my mum next comes to visit me at University in a couple of weeks, I will have to show her this place as I know she’d enjoy the food, and even the coffee, as much as I did!
Do you have any other lunch destination recommendations that I could explore in Nottingham?