Yesterday I went to see my brother in Cardiff. I hadn't seen him in nearly two months and my family were beginning to wonder if he was still alive. He was. He helped me with some work I needed to do and after a while I decided we needed a break.
We headed to Coffee Barker, (Emma's recommendation) and although a little out of the way of the other shops and cafes, it was worth the few extra minutes walk from the city centre.
Hidden away in Castle Arcade, Coffee Barker is an extension of a closing (closed?) down clothes shop. It is certainly big inside, with tables and armchairs spread out further back than I could see from the entrance, and the place was packed.
I thought £5.49 was a bit steep for some soup and bread, but we were after something sweet anyway. Two coffees and a cake came to about £7 which I have come to accept is every coffee shop's standard charge.
Lots of cakes to choose from = not good for my stress levels. I always feel rushed when there's a queue behind me in a coffee shop and the barista is tapping his fingers on the till and I'm stood there umm'ing and ahh'ing over the menus dotted seemingly everywhere and the cabinets and plates full of cakes and tarts and pastries. Hard work, I know...
The guys who worked there were quite pretty. Go check them out if you're in the area. They were super friendly and attentive.
A good choice it was, though; the coffee was hot, strong and it lasted forever.
The tiffin was slightly on the soft side - I decided that this was perhaps due to it being stored near hot coffee machines. It was, therefore quite a 'melt-in-the-mouth' texture as opposed to a harder biscuit which is what I expect from tiffin. Nonetheless, it was tasty and paired well with my coffee. Had I made it myself, I would have replaced the glace cherries with dried cherries to give a stronger flavour.
The decor of Coffee Barker was typically hipster. I hate that word but you know, it has become an adjective to describe so many things now. It wasn't exactly unique in it's design, but it was nicer than a lot of coffee shops that are decked out in Ikea polkadots and/or stripes, and the seats were comfy, which is always a plus.
Craig and I talked about old girlfriends and old boyfriends. Moving on and letting go. Dealing with big scary stuff like anxiety and change. It is good to catch up over coffee - to relax and enjoy your day off work - and in a place like Coffee Barker where you are distanced slightly from the rush of the city.
Have you been to Coffee Barker? I would definitely go again and try out some of the other drinks on the menu. It is such a chilled out place - I can imagine groups of school friends spending entire Saturdays hanging out there. I only wish I had found it sooner.