Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Strangers With Coffee

Strangers with coffee

Tucked away in St Cuthbert’s Street in Wells (Somerset) is a fabulous cafe which offers wonderful coffee, fantastic food and an amazing level of service which you just don’t get in most cafes and coffee shops.

Ivan and Susan Hewitt who run Strangers with Coffee are a lovely couple who do everything from serving and making a range of excellent coffees (Ivan) to baking the cakes and cooking all the food from scratch (Susan.) They both clear tables and assist customers in any way they can and just show a dedication to their business that many people could learn from.

The menu boasts lots of lovely, local produce, including the bread from Burcott Mill (another local business.) As well as Ivan’s brilliant coffee, you can also get a variety of different tea, soft drinks, beer, lager and wine. Whether you want cake, breakfast or a hearty lunch, you can find it all at Strangers with Coffee. Susan’s homemade cakes are extremely popular and sell out fast and are the perfect accompaniment to Ivan’s barista skills. 

 Breakfast options include scrambled egg, boiled eggs, croque monsieur or madame, bacon sandwiches and many other tempting breakfast delights. All the food is sourced locally and cooked perfectly.

Lunch can be anything from a mouth watering sandwich or wrap (made when you order, no plastic wrapping here) to a delectable homemade frittata with mint glazed potatoes and fresh leaves. There are beautifully written blackboards with the day’s specials and they are happy to be flexible while making the dishes. (I was fussy and did not want a horseradish sauce and Susan was happy to leave that out.) This is the beauty of having food made from scratch. Alongside the fact that the food is not processed, it can also be made to the specification of the customer. (Within the bounds of reason and what is being offered, of course.) Sadly, in the chain cafes, there is not often that choice. Vegan and gluten free options are also catered for at Strangers with Coffee.

The unique and faultless decor helps to add a special ambience to this well hidden gem. The decor is interesting with a lot to look at but still managing to look clean and fresh. The artwork, coffee related memorabilia and uncluttered wooden chairs and tables allow for a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.  There is a small courtyard out the back with lovely seating and tables for capturing the sunny weather and if you wish to sit and people watch, there are high stools and tables in the window. Even the toilet, which is out the back through the courtyard, has a very nice seaside theme. It is hard to keep a public toilet looking nice, but this one is.

Attention is paid, not only to taste, but also to presentation. Ivan has perfected the latte art and Susan never brings out anything that does not look totally fabulous.  The way a pot of tea is presented,  with a teapot, cup and saucer and a little timer, is a lovely touch. 

If you are visiting Somerset, or live there, take time to pop into Wells and visit Ivan and Susan’s brilliant cafe. It is worth a visit and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. My son and his wife live near Wells and introduced me to “Ivan’s” and I always include a couple of trips to Ivan’s when I am visiting.