Category Archives: Uncategorized

Free coffee

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If you’re interested in free coffee A friend has said you get a free coffee if you buy one of these-

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We baked you a cake but we ate it!…

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It’s surprised me what confessions have surfaced from people since starting this. Quite a lot of people like coffee and even more like cake, even a bit of baking. Even more surprising is how many people have quoted information about coffee back at me. My most popular tip has been- you can ask for 1 shot instead of 2 so you don’t feel wired.

I received this picture saying coffeecakeandme were the inspiration-

It was a bake off between 2 friends. What I have since found out is that these cakes were actually made from the left overs of a carrot cake (mixture), made for me but instead they ate it!.

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Florentine heaven at North Tea Power…

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August 17th 2012

Joining me-Tannie

North Tea Power, Northern Quarter, Manchester

Friday coffee and cake is becoming the new friday club. It used to consist of 4 of us meeting for tea and then ending up in a late one and a bad head the following morning. Now it’s become a civilised affair with a love of feeling ‘normal’ the next day, that’s not to say wine won’t be involved again. Tonight North Tea Power was on the agenda to try.

A comfortably sized coffee shop with an urban feel of steel posts and large wooden tables. I really like the feel of the place as although it wasn’t busy you could imagine it as a great place to get chatting to people due to its sociable layout-benches, large central wooden table and outdoor seating. The previous night it had showcased an artist’s pictures ( I found this out through following NTP on twitter) which tells me this is not just your run of the mill 9-5 coffee shop.

To Tannie’s disappointment the cake options were very slim, just the remains of the day on the counter. I on the other hand was not ,large florentines were staring right at me! A choice of alcoholic drinks also available and a light bites chalk board. I ordered my usual (cappuccino) and a florentine and Tannie opted for a sandwich and a small latte. She needed to re fuel after an afternoon exam (psychology, so not so easy-going). The drinks took a short while to arrive which was a good sign as the longer it takes to make a drink the better it tastes. I realised I had not said I didn’t want chocolate on but when the coffee came none had been put on, again a good sign.

The coffees were lush, falling into my great coffee category, which fills the criteria of no bitter afer taste, dense foam like topping and a full cup. The florentine was the best I’ve ever tasted and plenty of it. There are a number of people who choose to sit outdoors so, being checked on by staff could tempt people to have more than the one cup.

We had one small problem. Tannie hadn’t had her cake fix and considering she had just finished her exams she deserved a little of what she wanted. I agreed to give Teacup another try.

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It’s the barista not the place…

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15th August 2012

Bruccianis, Preston

Before catching up with an old friend  I headed into town to do a few jobs, one being bobbing in a well-known large chain clothes shop which is usually pretty hectic and can swallow you up hence I felt the need to ‘fuel up’ beforehand. I took the opportunity to stop off at Bruccianis . An old favourite with locals and visitors,  it is a large cafe which people have visited since before the war. Once inside the unique building you feel you have stepped back in time . It is like a scene from an old movie where people would sip their tea and coffee , cigarette holder in hand, while waiting for their trains (the train station is across the road). The decor and style is in keeping with the building in retaining the old school charm. No meal is over £5.00 and drinks come in cups or mugs.

 

Unfortunately when my coffee and scone was served it wasn’t quite what I was expecting but,  knowing you cannot judge a book by its cover I eagerly took my seat in the corner and tucked in. I was less than impressed in fact, I was completely unimpressed. The scone was just ok (I like mine crunchy not soft) and the cappuccino was tasteless. This got me thinking about all the little tips I’m picking up along the way. The staff  didn’t look that bothered, I was moved along the que quickly and my drink came very fast. I don’t think they’d let the milk settle or took any pride in their coffee-making skills!

Which proves you can have a beautiful building with lots of character and a reputation which goes before you yet,  it’s  people who have an interest in coffee- it’s not ‘just their job’ and take their coffee-making seriously who really do make the best cuppas.

Getting caught short on the way to Home Sweet Home

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Joining me-Tannie, Wirish

Home Sweet Home

Tip-If in Italy and you want your cappuccino hot instead of luke warm you ask…’troppo caldo’

My cake friend was around and my plans were cancelled -it was my mum’s 60th but she cancelled going out as her dog has been sick and she now thinks it’s dying and wanted to look after it 😦 It was a warm relaxed evening and due to the amount of rain we have been getting I wanted somewhere to ‘sit out’. I met friends at a large bar and after having some food we all agreed we wanted afters.

As we walked to an area where we would be likely to get this we passed a small clothes shop. Wirish spotted a bargain pair of shoes in the window and in seconds we were in. We easily got carried away on the bargain rails and before you could say grab a bargain we were in the changing rooms. There was a dress for £20 which in my local shop is selling for 3.5 times that price! Wirish struck up conversation with the shop owner , we knew she was after something, having got him on side she then laid it on him-she needed the ladies. He looked a little taken back but knew he was in a loose loose situation. She then disappeared through hanging clothes to a door to his make shift loo. It reminded me of a scene from Mr Ben. When ya gotta go you gotta go. Hand sanitiser was needed!

If this wasn’t bad enough for the poor guy after rummaging through our purses we then didn’t have enough money for the cost of the items! The very nice man let us have them at discount, or should I say at the money we had, I think he wanted us out of the shop asap. I didn’t feel too bad as I think he was making the prices up as he went along. How do you end up going for a brew at 8pm and end up with shoes, playsuits, jeans and dresess by 8.20pm?

Our requirements were possibly wine , cake, tea and coffee and only one place came to mind…Home Sweet Home. This week it was less busy and the music was more obvious but still there was a nice laid back atmosphere. We found out it serves food til 10pm and is open til 12 so a great all-rounder for food and drinks. Wirish highly recommended the sweet potato fries and the milkshakes.

A large pot of tea, cappuccino, carrot cake and brownies later and the conversation had moved onto Wirish telling us about a wine tasting experience. Now Wirish likes her wine so being sent there didn’t feel like work to her. With 52 types on offer she was in her element. In her words ”it did not end good”. This reminded me of something else which had variety and wasn’t going to end good. 50 shades. We thought her blog could be 52 shades of red..I’m sure it would be just as entertaining!!

We left bags in hand, pleased with our little purchases and ready for a weekend in the sun. This evening the bean led me to a cute little playsuit and jeans and the best cappuccino anywhere (so far). Where will it lead me next?

Insect alert…

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Joining me-Bex

Local pub

Tip-I have since found out that my explanation of a cappuccino is a serious no no in the coffee world according to my friend Lisa,  who has had this discussion with a barista in Leeds-‘never put chocolate on it spoils the coffee’.

Having gone into work today (why on such a lovely day?) and having help from a trusted friend I thought we both deserved a ready-made cuppa. This took us to a local pub where we could sit outside and enjoy the remaining sun. Even though I had thrown something on and neglected my personal hygiene by putting my hair in a bun rather than washing it the time was only 3 o ‘clock and  I thought who am I going to see? Once there, before we had sat down, we had slipped in ‘shall we have some food?’  Opting for the early bird sandwich deal mine came with the standard sized cuppa.

 

A small cappuccino with quite a bit of  light froth and not very hot. I find when illy coffee is served the cups aren’t very big. Anyone know this to be different anywhere? Despite the small drinks the food went down well .

When eating outside nature always decides to join you. I noticed a small (tiny, money variety) spider crawling on my friend’s shoulder and disappear under her vest strap. I drew her attention to this and she seemed a little unsettled by it saying she would have nightmares that night. Bit of an over reaction I thought but then she went on to tell me the story of how a friend of hers once had a cockroach crawl out of her pants. This has obviously freaked my friend out. So to confirm that fear I went on to tell her my experience.

A couple of months ago I spent a lovely sunny Sunday on the beach with Tannie. I had needed to ‘visit’ the sand dunes and under fear of startling an  innocent passer-by enjoying their sunday stroll I was fairly hasty in my time there. A little while later I was lying back enjoying the sun when a persistent irritation around my right short leg caused me to sit up and take a look. To my horror a fly was half trapped under my denim turn up. I quickly pulled back my short to reveal said fly and his friend crawling out! A few squeels later I was fly free. Needless to say I was unsettled by this. All I could presume is that in my haste in the dunes I must have trapped a couple of  unsuspecting  flies in my pants.  I don’t know who was more traumatised,  me or the flies!

Note to self -DO NOT go to a pub dirty, that’ll be the day the cute guy with the rough n rugged look will jump out of his van and sit near you.