Tuesday, 23 May 2017

A few of my favourite things: Waterstones Cafe, Southampton

In the first of a new series (you can find out my method behind my favourite things here) it isn't anywhere fancy or high-end, but a coffee shop on the ground floor of a bookshop in West Quay shopping centre, Southampton.

I've always had a love of bookshops so adding in coffee and cake couldn't really go wrong. What I love about this little cafe is that while it is advertised on the windows for people passing by the first floor as well as being visible from the new and very shiny Watermark eating area, it still remains a place to escape the madness of the shopping centre, surround yourself with books and breathe.

Nic nacs in the cafe area

There is a very obvious seating area right by the cafe area itself as well as seating outdoors (blankets are provided for chilly days) and by the children's books area making it perfect for everything from 15 minutes by yourself, coffee with friends or a sit down while the 4 year old looks at the books and plays on the little climbing area. There's even the most amazing bright red leather sofa at the far end by the windows that you can melt into despite the sofa clearly having seen better days! The cafe area is bright and airy thanks to the floor to ceiling windows and despite people entering into the bookshop a few meters away, you don't feel like you're sat in a walkway.

Now the food and drink! Jammie dodger cupcakes, carrot cake, massive cookies the size of your child's head and cappuccino cake are just a few of the sweet treats we've tried. There's even gluten free and vegan offerings usually available.

Hummus, sourdough and falafel, or banana and peanut butter toasties (along with lots of other things on toast available) provide welcome and bloody tasty fuel to continue your slog round the shops or in our case just to make it home sometimes. The joy of shopping with a 4 year old.

Drinks wise they do a very decent cappuccino plus the usual selection of cold drinks (Diet Coke, fentimens, fruit smoothies for the kids, etc) and a fantastic selection of teas, which they used to offer by the pot or by the mug but only seem to do pots now. Shame as the mugs used to be just the right size!

Prices are on par with what you'd pay outside, maybe a little cheaper particularly with the drinks, but the atmosphere is much nicer. Staff always chatty and helpful when stuck on cake selection, as well as understanding when 4 year old knocks over water. For the second time.

While I know you'd love it there, a bit of me wants to keep this little coffee shop to myself, but that would be selfish.... just promise to leave me a slice of cake and that sofa free would you? X

Monday, 22 May 2017

A few of my favourite things

If I lived by one saying, it would be this

I've been doing lots of behind the scenes blog work trying to get myself into a proper schedule and setting time aside each week to write. One of the things that helps is having topic headings that I can add to as and when I have something to say so "A few of my favourite things" was born. The title works because if you remove all the swearing, sarcasm and dark humour I'm practically Julie Andrews anyway!

A few of my favourite things does just what it says on the tin. It could be a coffee shop, a park, a bar (less likely - what's a night out again?) or anything that takes my fancy. It is less likely to be raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. The only criteria is that unlike all the Costa Coffees and Nando's of the world which I still frequent (and love), these things are a bit different and a bit special.

I'm always up for finding new favourites so if you know anywhere, do let me know!