#Coffeetime: Waterstone’s independent cafe Birmingham.


Now books, that’s another story. I’m always to be found with a book in my hand, whether fiction, poetry, gardening or art, I’m never far from one. In fact I’ve been known to spend a few hours in book shops and thus if in Birmingham Waterstone’s is the main and largest book shop in town to visit. 

  
The new impressive Waterstone’s Birmingham on High Street on the Bull Ring intersection is huge. 

Covering five floors, it covers every type of book and has a lovely floor for its Children’s section which also has its own cafe and cup cake making sessions (plus children’s play area).

Created as a ‘flagship bookshop for the Midlands’. The fiction section has its own floor (basement) and there are oak bookcases fitted throughout. Topped with this there’s also a varied events programme (see in store or on the website) and the shop itself feels more engaging, more user friendly with a new shop front and enhanced book range (though the poetry section is still a bit small for me). It’s a joy to walk around and another step on the revolutionisation of Birmingham as a cultural city merging with an impressive and vibrant city centre. 

  

Now it appears that me and Mrs Mills’ cakes have a thing going on, but just keep it a secret, but then I’m bound by been a blogger and all food consumed is ‘for the blog’ and the blog alone. Ruth my wife disputes this, and feels that I just consume food, well because I like it. It’s probably one of the reasons why I began my blog. As, what’s the point in being a food blogger if you don’t like food, and cake is food…right. 

The cafe is run independently and this shows in its free and easy layout and atmosphere with comfortable seating throughout. It’s a peaceful spot, but there is a surprise that you can sit on any floor with your drink and food if you wish (as long as you don’t mind carrying it up flights of stairs).

The aim is as much as possible to use local producers for cakes and bakes such as Mrs Mills. 

  Cheesecake and Flat White. 

  Yummy 😊

  Mrs Mills’ Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake: 

Creamy chocolatey layers of delight. Cheese cake base well made, a good bake. Rich Vanilla pod infused with a thick swirl of dark chocolate running through each slice, chocolate chip pieces. Melt in the mouth deliciousness. Indeed the best cheese cake in Birmingham no doubt.

Eaten with a lovely flat white. In fact everything one should be. Velvet micro foam and a powerful double shot of coffee.

   
 Flat white 

  Mrs Mills’ Chocolate Brownie (with Pips Hot chilli sauce).

The second cake I’ve eaten at Waterstone’s cafe is the Chocolate Brownie made with Pips Hot Chilli Sauce and sea salt. A luxurious brownie, with a definite chilli hit, which though quite powerful compliments the gooey chocolate well and makes for an indulgent treat at any time of the day. A very beautiful brownie that deserves repeated trials. A treat. 

Eaten with a disappointing cappuccino which wasn’t intensive enough in coffee for me and felt quite flat next to the brownie. Shame.

Waterstone’s cafe also serve sandwiches and biscuits. Bread is provided by local artisan baker Peel and Stone from the Jewellery Quarter. Other local producers are Anderson and Hill and Too busy to bake. 

It’s a delight in every way and a place to wile away the time, but beware if you fancy working there, their wifi is erratic and tempermental, in fact much like writers.  

A match made in bookish heaven. 

   Cakes and sandwiches at Waterstone’s. 

  Christmas time 

  

   
   Cafe seating.

 The view from the cafe of Birmingham’s German Market in the distance. 

   
   
  

 Children’s floor with plenty of activities. 

 

   
    Books and coffee, whatever next?

    Cafe seating amongst the books. 

 Waterstone’s Birmingham, High Street, 24-26 High Street, B4 7SL.

0121-633-4353.

Disclosure: I paid in full for my coffees and cakes. My opinions are honest as always. 

Mrs Mills Cakes makes celebration cakes, on the go granola bars, indulgent deserts and cheesecakes, biscuits for mail order and at food festivals, fairs and Brum Yum Yum Streetfood events. 

All cakes baked using free range eggs. 

At Brum Yum Yum Kings Heath on the 12th Decenber. 

https://m.facebook.com/MrsMillsMakesCakes/
  

http://mrsmillsmakescakes.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/mrsmillscakes

Christmas orders: 

http://mrsmillsmakescakes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/pdf-flyer.pdf

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

#CoffeeTime: New independent coffee shop openings. 


It seems that Birmingham City Centre is going independent coffee shop crazy this month with four new openings in and around the centre in the last few weeks. 

I’ve already mentioned the  Six Eight Kafe which has opened at Millenium Point  recently which if as popular as their original on Temple Row should do very well indeed and bring a coffee boost to Millenium Point and its eclectic mix. 





Flat white at Six Eight Kafe 

Also open is the new Urban Coffee Emporium at 1 Dudley Street near New Street Station (back entrance near the yet to be opened John Lewis entrance) 

Urban’s new emporium is a smaller affair, but will still be serving brunch, coffee and cake of course. 



flat white at Urban Coffee Church Street

The new emporium is at the new Birmingham Open Media Gallery and has plenty of vegetarian options on its brunch and  lunch menu. See above 

Also recently opened are Quarter Horse Coffee which is an Oxford based coffee shop which is independent and has branched out to Birmingham at 88-90 Bristol Street B5 7AH. @Qtrhorsecofee.

Plus the intriguing Diplomat Barista at the 2 SnowHill development near Snow Hill Station. 

They have a deal with the RBSA Gallery in the Jewellery Quarter to display art on their walls. Looks a good newcomer. 

I’ve also heard that Java Lounge from Moseley Village are opening up at some point on Colmore Row in Birmingham City Centre. 

So exciting times for coffee drinkers in central Birmingham. Expect to see reviews and reports on all of these in the next few weeks on my blog. 

Happy coffee drinking. 



Photos above taken at Yorks Espresso bar on Colmore Row and Marmalade at Birmingham Rep Theatre. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊





#CoffeeTime: Maison Mayci in Kings Heath Birmingham


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Maison Mayci in Kings Heath is the relaxed, informal and quaint cafe that the French do so well. Here in the south of Birmingham Ruth and I have enjoyed a fair few cakes, coffees and lunches at this fine neighbourhood find.

Located on Poplar Road just off the High Street, it’s a lovely space that offers food rewards in abundance the more you explore the menu.

It’s continental in its approach providing patisserie, rustic fresh breads, pastries, and coffee and cake to suit all tastes and appetites. It caters from brunch through to afternoon, lunches are varied, and delicious with anything from homemade soup, sandwiches, mixed platters, veggie and non, pasta specials and quiches.

It has good veggie options and the mixed veggie platter and quiches are excellent.

Sandwiches are made using their mighty fine freshly made bread and all cakes and pastries are freshly made and well worth a taste.

If you want to immerse yourself in a french flavoured atmosphere and a stylish neighbourhood environment then Maison Mayci is for you. Whether with friends or solo, it’s your call.

It’s also good for families meet ups, or just with a small child as their is a small play area and toys and the menu is child friendly.

Last week I decided to wander in being local for a coffee and cake. It’s. Good spot to read and to work so knowing that it would be quieter in the afternoon after lunch decided to waste no time and double up with a review.

The cafe in Kings Heath is big on atmosphere. It’s rustic, and has a soft warm charm with its wooden tables and chairs and tempting (well in good weather) outdoor courtyard.

The subtle gentle lighting lends itself to calm and the soft chatter of customers is non intrusive though often busy and popular.

On the day of my visit I ordered a cappuccino and cherry and almond tart.

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The cappuccino was well made, creamy, with a good coffee balance. A lovely warming drink.

The Cherry and Almond Tart was very well presented, and had was deliciously flavoured with the almond subtle and the pastry firm but not overworked. A fine tart.

Both together formed a delightful package and with my book the ideal way to spend time on a cold winters afternoon.

All bakes can be taken home and also pre ordered. The tarts and cakes are great when entertaining guests at home and the bread is yummy for brunch on a Sunday at home. Ruth and I are big fans of the bread at Maison Mayci and buy it regularly. The sourdough in particular is beautiful.

What made Maison Mayci a lovely coffee time spot though is the charming service and friendly charm of a cafe that is right on the money for local neighbourhood friendliness and top food options. It ticked many boxes. You can see why it’s popular, it has a touch of France in South Birmingham an escape from the hustle and bustle outside and the coffee is tres Bon. A place to return to again and again.

Un bel endroit (a beautiful place)

Maison Mayci also have a cafe in Moseley village which serves afternoon tea also.

Maison Mayci
8 Poplar road
Birmingham B14 7AG

0121 444 8167

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I purchased my own coffee and cake and all opinions expressed are my own and honest.

Have you been to Maison Mayci in Kings Heath or Moseley? What did you think?

http://www.maisonmayci.co.uk

Twitter: @maisonmayci