Monday blues have hit me hard. The temperature has dropped and having to head out 5 mins early to de-ice the car isn’t sitting well with me. There are a lot of things I’d rather be doing this time of year and one of them is being sat in a cosy coffee shop with a warm drink. Fortunately, that’s what Sundays are for! The countdown til my Christmas shutdown at work is definitely on and hopefully, I will have the opportunity to visit more coffee shops with a little bit of free time.
#2 of the Coffee Date series is a review of Coffee with Art in Bedford town centre. Bedford is somewhere I find myself spending a lot more time in since being with my boyfriend who is from there. The embankment is beautiful and it has it has a fair amount of places to grab a drink (both coffee and alcohol). We came across Coffee with Art a while back when we were searching for somewhere to go on Sunday for a change of scenery and we have been back at least 3 times since!
The coffee shop is a new addition to Bedford with it only opening in 2013. The owners are two friends one of which is a photographer who displays his pieces in the shop and the other is the business and management behind the place. Another fun fact- the building is the second oldest on the high street too, which is hard to believe when you’re welcome by the modern decor.
Located on the high street Coffee with Art really is a hidden gem which seems to be getting more and more popular as people discover the unique cafe. The wooden furniture with some unique features such as their coffee tables (if you go you’ll know what I mean) has a really chilled out ambience. It is a great place to unwind with wifi and sofas available, as well as a few breakfast bar style seats at the window if you love a good people watch. The decor seems to be a mix of film art and books. I literally mean books. With walls made of the stuff, and another wall I believe is called the ‘exploding library’, it truly is a place with a bit of character.
In terms of food and drink, anyone would be spoilt for choice! With a selection of delicious looking salads, bagels, paninis and baguettes lunch is most definitely sorted. The fillings are also fab with pulled pork, Italian meats and roasted vegetables as a few examples. In terms of cake- it gets better! There is always a big range of sweets whenever I have been in there. There are usually 3 massive homemade cakes in the cabinet such as Victoria sponge, carrot cake etc which always look impressive, and then a wide selection of tray bakes and muffins- the salted caramel filled one is honestly heaven! Drinks range from every coffee you could ever think of, frappes, milkshakes, chai drinks, lots and lots of tea, and good quality cold drinks.
When I and my boyfriend went this occasion I got a Caramel Latte Cake and he had the brownie. The brownie was served quite cold which perhaps made it less enjoyable. It was gooey but the cold temperature stopped it from being even gooier (that’s a word right?). The Latte cake looked very impressive. There were two layers of coffee cake and one of sponge with buttercream icing and a caramel topping. If you managed to combine all these parts the cake was gorgeous. However, for me, the buttercream took the flavours away and made it far too sweet and sickly. More caramel was also definitely needed. Overall, it was a difficult cake to finish as it just becomes too rich. However, as I have said, I have been before when the bakes have been 10/10, and the muffins are especially good. I also got a cappuccino which was enjoyable. The quality of the coffee tasted excellent and the froth stayed put-which is a big yes from me! My boyfriend got the cookies and cream frappe, which he wasn’t too impressed with. He found it to taste a bit like milk with a bit of whipped cream on the top.
Overall the costing of the place is reasonable. All our orders together cost roughly £12 which is pretty much the same as it would cost in Costa. I think the prices of some items could have been lower, however, the scenery is unique and therefore you can see why they do charge that much. The service is good too with the staff bringing your coffees to you, saving the awkward wait by the til, and it is never longer than a 5 min wait. Although it is usually busy I have never been in there and not managed to find a table which I think is really important. If you’re having to run around searching the stress levels shoot and the whole point of sitting down to relax has gone out the window.
You can hire the place as a venue too which can cater for up to 50 people. There is also afternoon tea options which you can book and reserve a table in advance- a great idea for a catch-up or a present for someone who lives close to the area.
Overall, if you just so happen to be shopping in Bedford I would 100% head to this place over any high street chain. The bakes are mainly delicious and you will honestly be spoilt for choice for hot drinks and food. The art is an experience in itself before you have even sipped your latte. It’s most definitely one of a kind and is a perfect location for a weekend chill.
- 82 High Street, Bedford, MK401NN