Thursday, 11 June 2015

Cafés in the news: L'Oliva, Edwards and Fusion, plus a word about the White Lion and Sergio

Beeston High Road's newest café, L'Oliva, got its first mention in the Nottingham Post back in February 2015 when the news report said it 'was a few weeks away'. It finally arrived last week and I will sample its coffee in the next day or two. I wish the new owners well, but the shopfront continues to look a little tired, with the old 'Virtual Deli' facia still in place and missing mosaic tiles on the frontage. I hope these things to not deter customers. Walking past today it looked busy.

With so many cafés and bistro type places to choose from, there is plenty of competition. I have updated my Beeston Pubs & Café map (see entry in right-hand column) to include L'Oliva.

Also, My Place café on Wollaton Road became Edwards last week, with a new owner.

Edwards is on the northern approach to Beeston town centre down Wollaton Road from The Nurseryman pub and Derby Road, and is the first café visitors see. There is parking outside. I wish the new owner well. Edwards is within a few minutes of my front door, so it does not figure on my radar, but I would encourage any shop browser to explore Wollaton Road and to have a welcome break at Edwards before returning to the shops in Beeston Town Centre.

Talking of Wollaton Road, the next time you walk down it towards the High Road think about what you would use the great white wall above the card shop to promote. I'm presently using it to promote this blog. 

How about the Beeston Express?

I will end where I started. This time with Fusion Café, which is part of Chilwell Art Corner at the western end of Beeston town centre. I blogged about Creative Corner in January ( and said then that AJ, who runs Fusion Café, made the best coffee in Beeston and I stand by what I said then.

AJ has applied for a license at Fusion to sell alcohol every day from 10am–10pm. There is a large notice in the latest issue of the Beeston Express.

From the front, Fusion looks quite small and is located on the left-hand side of the Mish Mash Gallery. It is, in fact, bigger than it looks, wrapping as it does around the back of the gallery. I hope AJ's application is successful.

He often has private parties who book Fusion and this is clearly an important part of the café's business, so I am sure being able to sell alcohol will make Fusion an even more attractive venue than it already is.

Between March and May this year I facilitated a writing group which met at Fusion thanks to the generosity of AJ. It is a friendly venue and on the few occasions I have been there at weekends, there have always been families inside and mums outside with their buggies and children.

Fusion is the perfect place to start a visit to Beeston town centre if arriving by bus or tram. From here it is a leisurely walk into town and then down the High Road to Humber Road and Broadgate Park, from where you catch the same buses and trams.

I suspect that if I had a mind to this blog could become exclusively about Beeston pubs and cafés. In truth I do not visit them often enough because I never have the time. In my ideal world I would have cake at Fusion and Mason & Mason at least once a week and lunch at the Local Not Global Deli and the White Lion once a week as well. I like large custard tarts from Birds and Home Bakery too.

It is the first Beeston Food and Drink Festival this coming weekend (12–13 June). Unfortunately it clashes with a planned walk and Sunday clashes with the Beeston & Chilwell Garden Trail weekend. I just hope that in the midst of all this activity I will find the time to sample some of the delights on offer.

If you read this and are coming to Beeston this weekend, I urge you to visit the White Lion and the Local Not Global Deli. the folk who run these places are here every week of the year. As far as I am concerned, they make living, eating and drinking in Beeston like having a food festival an all-year event. I will end with a pic I have used before. I think of it as one of my best:

A happy Sergio at the White Lion bringing me and friends cake (real yummy cake)! He does a fantastic fish stew and lots of other good food too, drawing on his Portuguese–Brazilian heritage. If any person should be the face of Beeston food it is Sergio. He has a long letter in the latest edition of the Beeston Express (5 June 2015) about his fight to keep the White Lion open. It is worth reading.

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