Over the last month or so, I have started to go out with friends more for brunches, lunches and coffee and cake. It has not only been wonderful catching up with people, but also to venture out of our usual cafes in Nottingham, allowing us to discovery new and up and coming independent businesses.
Although very small and with very little seating, the coffee shop is now one of my favourite spots in Nottingham. It is located down a small side street and is therefore tucked away from the main shops. This makes it have an exclusive feel, adding to the appeal.
The decor is stunning and definitely designed for the Instagram photos: pink walls, neon pink lights, greenery, with the odd insert of black and white. They also have ceramics on display which I loved.
As a result of it being new, the cafe has limited options and because it is a specialty coffee shop, 75% of the menu is the different types of coffee. However, for non-coffee drinks like myself, there were still a couple of options. I was drawn to the golden and pink lattes. I found out the golden one consisted of a warming blend of spices, whereas the pink was a beetroot latte. I had never tried the latter before and so I opted for this with oat milk.
What I enjoyed the most was the fact that they partner with other independent local businesses, such as The Beeston Brownie, Tough Mary Bakehouse and feature a new roaster each month. I opted for the cookie dough brownie which was amazing, so gooey, with the slightly crunchy cookie dough on top.
I have recently been going down to Blend once a week or at least every couple of weeks. Situated in Sneinton Market, Blend is all about bringing people together and bringing life into an underappreciated part of the city. This space is a lot bigger than Effy and as a result has a more open and communal feel – it is also lovely to sit outside on the benches when it is sunny. They have a great selection of drinks, including the matcha, beetroot and turmeric lattes which I love. But they also serve a range of fresh pastries, handmade cakes, and their famous grilled-cheese toasties.
What I love the most is that they serve a wide range of dairy-free milks and vegan options, including vegan cakes and pastries, which I am still yet to try. When I go for lunch, my favourite toastie is the ‘Sir Parsnip McCartney’ which consists of vegan mozzarella, parsnip and a spiced pear chantey. They are really generous with the filling and their fresh bread is artisan and divine.
On the weekend, I often head to the coffee shop in the afternoon to grab a drink and sit and work. It is so much nicer to work in an environment surrounded by other creatives also on laptops with music and the hum of talking in the background.
Although this cafe is less niche and is larger being also a bar and lounge, it was still a relaxed place to go, especially in the week in the daytime. They do offer the usual brunch and lunch options; however their menu is unique in terms of the combinations they put together; this is what keeps their menu interesting. Unlike the other two cafes, this one is not hidden away, but is in the centre of town and so I can image it does get busy at times.
I went for the falafel wrap that comes with sweet potato crisps and a side salad. The wrap was warm and crispy and was packed full of hummus, falafel and red cabbage. My lunch from the main menu was a filling portion which unfortunately was unlike some of my friends’ options, which were off the brunch menu. Having said this, we all really enjoyed the food we did order.
Out of the three, this is potentially my least favourite. This is not to say I wouldn’t go back as I definitely would, it just has a darker interior and a less community-based atmosphere. I do however feel that it would be great for an event in the evening or a drink in the bar.