I'm not sure if this place has changed hands or not, but the last couple of times I've visited (this morning, and last year) I've left a bit disappointed.
I've been visiting for many many years... since it first opened, I believe... and used to make a twice-yearly (or more often) pilgrimage on the 2/3 hour journey for the coffee, the cakes, the vibe.
So it still plays great music and has some wonderful and unusual books but with many other decent independent coffee shops opening up these days, the cafe part of it is not so unusual anymore.
Today I was a bit disappointed: Firstly, the lovely, sunny conservatory part (one of the biggest attractions) was closed off, because the weather is 'too hot'! It was fairly cool today and I would have loved to soak up some morning rays with my coffee.
The lady behind the counter was a little abrupt; yeah, I know, we are seeing a LOT of tourists these days but hey, it's only June. And the coffee was very weak.
Additionally, despite having a whole host of vegan cookbooks in the bookshop, and having once been a place I associated with a vegan-type lifestyle, not one item of baking was even dairy-free, let alone vegan although I did spot a gluten-free option.
Back in the day, this was such a unique and inspiring place, full of buzz... I just feel it's lost a bit of its sparkle.
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