Category Archives: Bean in the village

A little taste of Italy…

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Sunday 12th August

Joining me-Lisa and family

Franco’s, Saltaire

Tip-say no to the chocolate sprinkles,  the kids won’t be interested in your drink and will harass the person who has!

This is a little deli frequented by my friend’s family for the past 6 years. It comes recommended by my friend, her parents and her children. Owned by an authentic half Italian /half polish gent it caters for both cultures by selling Polish and Italian food staples and meals. Considering it was a Sunday afternoon it was a buzz with a mixed clientel,  from families to groups of young people,  sat around the small round tables. Despite this there was a relaxed atmosphere with a random soundtrack in the background, that somehow fit.

Franco’s is open day and evening serving quality home-made food such as meatballs or pasta for under £5.oo. Its value for money is second to none-no wonder it is a hit any day of the week and with families. A choice of 3 drink sizes with a large coming in just under £2.00 (bargain).  Or if you fancy a beer they sell alcoholic drinks. Gelato and homemade cakes and scones were the offerings for our afters. Saying no to the chocolate sprinkles our coffee and generous sized home-made carrot cake arrived. This is a classic of don’t judge a book by its cover.

As you can see from the picture the cake looks dark and a tad crispy on the edges and the coffees look less than perfect. The coffee once again had the creamy foam topping as opposed to the usual  air bubbled froth and the cake lasted a couple of minutes if that. It was delicious. The orange zest lifted the flavour with a hint of ginger whilst the sponge was moist , sweetened by the thin layer of cream. Loved by young and old.

I asked the man how he got the creaminess on top of the cup. When in a coffee que you notice them steaming the milk etc but of late I have been drinking in places where they bring it to you. He explained that when you steam the milk it foams with lots of air bubbles to start, at this point you leave the milk to settle in the jug rather than in the cup (this is why your cappuccino shrinks to a third of the cup very quickly). Once the milk has settled in the jug spoon it onto the coffee. Walla…dense foamy cappuccino and a full cup!

So it seems the people who really know how to make coffee treat the milk with a little more patience than others , resulting in the best coffee. Now you don’t get that in a ‘coffee for the masses’ shop.

I am becoming a coffee snob!

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Perfect scone, not so perfect date…

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Sunday 5th August 2012

Joining me-Geordie R

The Terrace Cafe, Lymm

With plans suddenly cancelled and not much to do I quickly checked my phone and was spontaneous for once. Finding a half way spot on google maps I then set about looking for a coffee stop. It was a very hot and humid day and as I walked through the village I realised my choice was not well thought out. Luckily the sound of running water drew attention to a little hidden spot of outdoor seating and foliage. Walking round the back of a building there was a small entrance into The Terrace. A small chic cafe with an intimate dining area indoors and an ideal spot for outdoor sitting on a day like this. Homemade looking cakes on offer as well as other tasty looking bites. I will be trying here for a spot of lunch one day. Great service even if the waitress openly admitted that she’d no idea which was a cappuccino and which was a latte. I taught her the ins and outs my way..simple ”cappuccino usually has chocolate sprinkled on top”.

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Decent large drinks followed, infact I haven’t seen a latte that big in a glass ( my picture does not do it justice) and so did 2 appetising cakes. I had opted for the simple scone which came warm and pre cut (bonus so it doesn’t all break up). Perfectly crunchy on the outside and moist and soft in the centre. The chocolate button slice was moist and in my companions terms ‘fit’ however, the top layer of chocolate was pretty hard so it could have done with being out of the fridge before serving. That didn’t put us off getting stuck in with our fingers.

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Unlike my coffee Friday this one wasn’t smooth but more like youre typical cappuccino from a drive through, very frothy. It’s always good to go large in this case as you know when you start to have a fiddle with the spoon you realise that at least half the drink is weightless froth and there’s not much fluid in the cup. Now before someone jumps up that’s cappuccino I still expect substance with my froth! Having said that it was a nice drink, the size helped.

Good conversation, even though I had moments where I didn’t think before speaking, especially about child welfare. My companion was up beat, chatty, pretty well dressed and reminded of someone from the Madchester scene (the hair). The downside was he was the 3rd guy in a row having ‘issues’ with the ex. This is starting to be a warning sign. Not being too dismissive we agreed to meet again. The gurgling sound that came closer was not from my belly or anywhere else but the thunder storm building over us. I took that as the cue to leave and made it back to my car just in time as the down pour hit. Trying to be a good driver, plus wanting to be seen by other vehicles going very slowly over Barton bridge (I hate it, it’s my fear of heights), I put my small lights on. When I got home I made a rush for the door to save being soaked. A nice afternoon.

Shame I had forgotton to turn off my lights and so had no car the next day due to a flat battery! Having waited for J to arrive home to jump start my car things didn’t go to plan when my leads started smoaking and melting.

Thank goodness for nice neighbours!!