I don’t believe many visitors to Poland would end up in my home town; there’s no sea or mountains, or lakes, or theme parks. There’s only sentiment of those who used to live here, to come back and reminisce. And for someone who knows the city from back in the days, it can also be a shock to realise how much it has changed over the last few years – for the better.
Radom is surely a cheaper option food and drink-wise compared to some more acclaimed touristic destinations in the country; especially if you arrive with British pounds in your pocket. However, I still find that dinning out is a commodity for the better-off, although recently there has been a considerable boom in restaurants and cafes, putting much effort into creating a varied menu and a magical ambiance through original decor. This is a trend in Poland, I’ve noted, to devote a coffee shop’s existence to a specific theme that makes it stand out from the rest. Just a shame that their focus is not on coffee.
Here’s a run down of the few cafes I visited on my last trip to Radom.
One of the first quality coffee shops in Radom, last year it underwent a refurb, which, however, didn’t rob it of the magic it always held within. The eclectic decor creates pleasant surroundings to relax on a weekday afternoon (mind not going too early, as it sure does attract elderly ladies). The menu is cram packed with various beverages, from flavoured hot and cold coffees to milkshakes and fruit cocktails. They also offer a bite to eat, like toasties with cheese and pineapple,
together with a selection of home-made cakes.
It has always been my favourite, long before I started drinking coffee on daily (or even hourly) basis. Maybe that’s why I used to think it was great; although back then I was using sugar for my coffee also, so that couldn’t count as a reliable viewpoint. My last visit was therefore rather disappointing.
Because my partner had a mocha, I decided to try something else, and opted for After Eight: coffee with mint syrup and chocolate shavings on top of foamy milk. The presentation was gorgeous, and both drinks looked very appetising; but both were
also very, very sweet; and not very coffee-ish. Apart from the sweetness of the syrups, there wasn’t much flavour in either, not even of mint or cocoa (apart from the chocolate shavings, that is). We both found it hard to drink up; but at least the tasty toastie, the pleasant, non-intrusive waitress and free WiFi were a bit of a consolation.
After Eight: 10zł
Cafe Marcus, ul. Żeromskiego 39, Radom, +4848362 34 05
This place is virtually vis-a-vis another cafe, that used to sell the best pastries in town – until the refurb and the change of name to Siódme Niebo (Seventh Heaven – review bellow). Opened just a week before my visit, it did look like it still had some
decorations missing, as the high ceiling echoed our voices as we stormed in, all the seven of us plus a baby (a family afternoon). The staff looked a bit dazzled at first, but quickly prepared us a table and equipped us in romantic-style menus (wooden covers, with delicate drawings of angels on the front).
The mocha I got was much better than the Marcus’s number; funny enough because the old Marcus belonged to the same owners, so maybe I was right to think the coffee there used to be tastier than it is now. Vanilia‘s offering was stronger and more chocolatey; but still lacked a bit of a punch to be called a proper coffee.
The apple pie, however, was amazing. Just make sure you hadn’t eaten much before tucking into it – it is a generous portion!
As mentioned earlier, Seventh Heaven is a partly-new establishment; it appeared in the place of a pastry shop, Florynka if I remember correctly, which sold the tastiest French pastries in town. It wasn’t the cheapest, so I didn’t visit too often; and then, it was gone. Seeing the beautiful decor of the new place, however, I had hopes that it stepped up to the excellence of its predecessor. How bitterly disappointed I was to encounter cookies and tortes in place of my beloved pastries, and to make it worse, all wrapped up in cellophane as if they were there only for display or take-away (which was not the case, as I observed a customer sitting in with a coffee and being served a slice of one of those wrapped-up tortes). Although the indoors set seventh heaven expectations, the “cake display” certainly brought me stumbling down to Earth.
Thankfully, the coffee was better than expected; the mocha was made with dark, thick chocolate, that still remained on the bottom of the cup when I finished drinking. The espresso wasn’t bitter as I had experienced in other places around town and it blended well with the chocolate. It was a short, strong number, and I figure very little milk was used to make it. Overall, a good beverage, although for my taste, a bit too intense as it left me begging for water (which in this country does not come free from the tap, mind you). Then again, I observed a preparation of a latte, and cringed when I saw that the espresso shot was left there for ages in a small jug before being incorporated with the milk.
It’s a 50-50 chance of an enjoyable afternoon, by the looks of it; although the food they serve certainly looks and smells amazing… Let me know if you pay them a visit.
Mocha: 8zł (served with cream)
Note: At the time of writing £1=5zł aprox