Friday, 26 June 2015

Café delight and yet another one

On Thursday I finally got to have a coffee in L'Oliva and I have to admit it was a delight — a treat in fact. 

You can see why. A lovely cup of viscous coffee full of flavour for £2 and two 'Scilian treats'. The larger one £1.20 with a coffee filling and the smaller one, 95p, filled with hazelnut chocolate, both delicious.

For a while there was just Susan and me. It was very quiet, then another customer came in. As the photographs below show, the owner has kept the old butcher's interior and used it to good advantage:

The ceiling has been lined with pages from newspapers and periodicals. The café has a spacious feel despite being quite small. With so many cafés in Beeston I am sure you have to be original to prosper and L'Oliva manages that.

You can find L'Oliva on my Beeston Pubs & Cafés Map (see right-hand column). It currently shows 20 cafés and 12 pubs, all of which serve coffee and a good few cake as well!

Talking of competition, yet another one is in the process of being fitted out.

I have no idea when the 'Greenwood Coffee House' will open (next door to Thirnton's chocolate shop) or what its USP (unique selling point) is going to be. I am sure I will find out soon enough.

At the moment The Local not global deli run by Jo on Chilwell Road, opposite its junction with Imperial Road, remains my favourite for light lunches and apple pie, everything in fact, closely followed by Mason & Mason for good cake and the best Mocha I have had in Beeston. I like Costa's Mocha and had one in Waterstone's in the city centre today, but the Beeston Costa plays loud music and that is a real no no with me.

Of the chains, Caffe Nero is the best. The staff are unfailingly cheerful. 

I could go on, because a good few others are a pleasure too, especially the Fusion Café by Cator Lane and is part of Chilwell Creative Corner. A good black Americano and another place for good cake.

Since 2013, when I created the first version of my Underground style diagrammatic map, I have believed Beeston's cafés and pubs should be at the centre of campaigns to pull visitors and shoppers in the town. I am currently working of a new 'spider' version of my map which I plan to launch once the Tram has a start date. I am also planning a 'Beeston Nights' page.

As you can see, Beeston's café scene is alive and well, and continues to grow. I am sure an enterprising post-graduate student could write a thesis about Beeston's cafés, their number, USPs, customer profiles and if there is tipping point and, if so, what is the number — 25, 30?

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