Monthly Archives: March 2013

Brambles Tea Room

Windermere

This is a fairly new place, as far as cafes go in Windermere (making a clear distinction from Bowness-on-Windermere here). I remember when I discovered it the first time a few years back, tucked away from the main points of interest: the bank, the post-office, Co-op…; hiding on the side of a one-way road leading out of the village. That time I got a mocha although it didn’t appear on the menu and I felt I under-paid for it, as it was even cheaper than a cappucino. Maybe that’s why I remembered it positively.

This time there was no question about getting the right drink, as the Mochaccino figured plainly on the menu, alongside many other drinks and also hot food offers; there was also an ample selection of cakes, all portioned generously. Generous was also staffing, as the six or seven tables in this tiny place were being attended by four waiters and waitresses – all cramped in a small kitchen at the back of the open-plan venue, chatting away cheerfully. Despite that, there was a head-waitress (maybe the owner?) who greeted all the new customers loudly and warmly, inviting them to take a seat and take their time.

Mochaccino at Brambles Tea Room

Mochaccino at Brambles Tea Room

I was encouraged by their use of Farrer’s coffee (quite common in this part of the Lakes it turns out) and was quite pleased by the look of the mocha that was served to my table. It looked just the part: lovely, thick texture with the perfect, smooth foam on top, finished with some chocolate shavings. It would have been brilliant, if not for the temperature – it was just too hot; and maybe a little bit too sweet, but that might be due to my recent cut down on sugar intake.

All in all, it is a pleasant little cafe, decently priced and with some very attentive yet natural staff. Good for a weekday lunch break, I guess – although not the best destination if you’re in need of a bit of privacy… unless you’re lucky enough to get a sunny day to sip your coffee outside.

Mocha: £2.60

Verdict justification: A really enjoyable cup of coffee. Just cool it down a little!

http://www.bramblestearoom.co.uk/

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The Apple Pie

Ambleside

One of my first jobs in the Lakes required travelling to Grasmere and back a few times a week; thankfully, I was usually driven by car – but also unfortunately, because I only visited Ambleside a few times in these past six years. It certainly is a charming village, with a bit more to offer than Windermere, and probably comparable with Grasmere – and it has The Apple Pie.

The cafe is somehow renowned in the area – it was suggested to me by a few people when they had found out I was travelling to Ambleside. This time, I arrived to the village on a ferry – my first day on Lake Windermere (and highly recommended – make sure you get yourself on the upper deck at some point!). Despite it being Monday and despite empty streets, the cafe itself was heaving – as ever. I somehow managed to save a tight spot between two families and after pondering over a Bayleys’ Hot Chocolate, I decided to stick to a mocha, and a cheeky egg custard to go with it.

Mocha at The Apple Pie

Mocha at The Apple Pie

The order arrived in a very good time considering the level of business.  The coffee was good. It looked nicely layered, had a pleasant texture, but lacked some special punch – more on the coffee side, to be precise, as it was sweet enough, that for sure.

The Apple Pie must be popular for a reason – it wouldn’t be the egg custard, which was rather flavourless, but  most likely their warm apple pie served with ice cream or other home sweet and savoury bakes. I wouldn’t dismiss the coffee, it in enjoyable… but still not the best coffee shop in the Lakes.

Mocha: £2.20 (tbc)

Verdict justification: Nice coffee and somehow a part of the Ambleside experience. Worth a visit.

http://www.applepieambleside.co.uk/

Categories: Cafes, Lake District, Local, UK | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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