Thursday, February 28, 2013

Good Luck to Jennifer and #teamhonk who are climbing Snowdon on Saturday in aid of Comic Relief.  At least 19 are in the team and some if not all will be in fancy dress so if you are in the area you won't be able to miss them!

Good Luck Team!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review of coffee shops in Horsham

I am lucky enough to meet friends regularly for a morning cup of coffee, and when we were sitting in Artisan this morning we joked about how many different coffee places we had visited in Horsham.  We like to try new ones if we can, and when we came to draw up a list we were amazed at how many coffee shops there are.  I thought I could jot down some thoughts on nice places to go.  I am not a coffee drinker when out, I tend to go for tea, so I will need to miss out a main important point about quality of the coffee!  No particular order, and you get your coffee from the counter unless stated otherwise.

Pret a Manger in West Street.  Brand new and very nice, reasonable prices.  Can get very busy, grab a table while you can.
Costa in West Street.  We only went there once and the table was dirty so didn't bother again.
Cook Shop in East Street.  OK but pricy.  County set.  Can ogle all the lovely kitchen ware at the same time and be scandalised by the prices.  The loos are hidden down the back on the right hand side, useful if you need to know this when in the area!
Waterstones in West Street.  My favourite.  Nice staff, cosy surroundings, reasonable prices and you can people watch the street below.  If you buy the coffee from the flask there are free refills.  A loyalty card gives you a free drink every now and then.  Can get busy so get there early.  Take a code for the loo from the counter (they could do with a refurbishment, not great).
Tristans in East Street.  Nice little coffee shop downstairs, lovely loos.  But we found that in the morning they are constantly walking through taking stock up the stairs to the restaurant, leaving the door ajar and making it feel cold.
Bills on Market Square.  Lovely inside and attentive staff.  They have made a great job of renovating the building.  You will be met at the door and shown to a table, and given a menu, but they are fine with just coffee.  I had lunch here once and although you are given a full menu, I only wanted a light lunch and just ordered a starter (which was very good).  If you sit near the door in winter it can be cold with people coming and going, but I am told they will supply cushions, blankets and even hot water bottles!
Cote in East Street.  Very nice cool French interior.  A very classy place for morning coffee.  Table service.  Be sure to look at the mosaic floor which is the original one from when it was the Co-op many years ago.  It fits the interior perfectly.
Black Olive on the Bishopric.  Lovely to sit out here on a sunny day and watch the people go by.
Conservatory in the Park.   Another favourite, worth the short walk from town.  You can sit inside the conservatory, which can get hot if it is summer, or outside in the park on a sunny day, which is very pleasant.  Nice staff and good choice of light lunches (the toasted sandwiches are good).  It can get very busy during school holidays.
Beals on the Forum.  Department store cafe, fine, not a great deal of atmosphere.  The loos are downstairs at the back of the lingerie department, again they don't particulary advertise them but they are a good alternative to the awful public ones outside.
Squires on the Forum.  Again good for sitting outside on a sunny day, but grab a sunshade or a table in the shade round the side.  And avoid if they are playing loud music or digging up the pavement again.
Crown on the Carfax.  Pub coffee, reasonable for sitting in comfy chairs to talk.  They don't open until late morning though.
Commodore near the Forum.  Not tried this personally but friends say they felt the waiter was not very friendly, and seemed to expect them to order a fry up rather than just coffee.
Artisan on Market Square. Brand new and lovely inside/upstairs. Table service.  You can amuse yourself by watching the tasty waiters (if you don't mind the fake tans). I am told the cakes are wonderful but pricy, although huge portions, worth sharing between two. The coffee/tea prices were a bit on the high side.

Next time we are going to try Carmellas on the Carfax,  looks good from the outside but hope they have enough tables.

There are many more we have not tried, eg M&S, BHS, La Brunch, Cafe Nero, Real Eating (centre of Swan Walk), Paninos on the Carfax, Sainsburys, Merrythorpe (I used to go there 40 years ago when it was the only tea shop in town) and of course all the pubs.  No shortage of places to have a coffee in Horsham.

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