It is my core belief that there is no problem which can’t be solved, no pain which can’t be healed and no day which can’t be improved by a good cup of tea. And, of course, this comes hand in hand with the the commodity which will prove the key to studying, early starts and, in turn, life: our trusty Brazilian/Columbian/Ethiopian/Multinational pal, coffee.
Going for tea/coffee is undeniably a great way to strengthen a friendship or build initial bonds… so where does one find the perfect pick me up? Well, Bath does not fall short of those cute little ‘begging for an Instagram’ cafes. Let’s consider a few.
Boston Tea Party
You’ve got the big Boston and the little Boston, only 5 minutes apart. Big offers a beautiful, spacious environment, ideal for working in or showing off to the family, whilst Little has the cute, intimate factor. Both present a wonderful range of drinks and breakfasts, with the icing on the cake being, indeed, the cake (flapjacks, sponges and scones larger than the debates you’ll have concerning the pronunciation). NOT TO BE MISSED. Oh, and you get colourful timers with your tea.
In terms of actual coffee, Society is one of the greats. Like Boston, there are two in town, one by the station and one near Komedia. Quality drinks (love the flat whites with any type of milk you could wish for) if not more expensive than standard. It’s a chain with stores present in Bath, Bristol and Oxford so if you’re an Oxford reject, well, don’t worry because here is practically as good.
Hall and Woodhouse
This place is primarily a bar but when my flatmates and I stumbled across it at 3 in the afternoon we didn’t feel we could quite justify a G&T- coffee was the No1 alternative. It’s fancy with gorgeous décor inside but certainly not overly priced. The main reason for going though is the rooftop seating. With comfy chairs and a view across the iconic, if not a little monochromatic, streets of Bath, this ambience is the ultimate relaxant. It has proper loose leaf tea and great cappuccinos but is probably a location for more sophisticated affairs.
Independent cafes are great but if you wanted to just nip in and out, it wouldn’t do them justice- you need time to soak in up the atmosphere. So, yes, you’ve got your mainstream cafés too.
Café Nero opposite the Guildhall has cosy upstairs seating, Pret on Southgate is packed full of students, Costa is right in amongst all the action in town and Starbucks by the Abbey has a lovely ambience in the early evening, ideal for grabbing a quick takeout to sit with on the bus (WARNING: TEMPTATION IS EASY TO SUCCUMB TO IN THIS INSTANCE).
Less further afield. . .
Campus coffees and teas are a dangerous game. They can eat away at your food credits or student loan if you have a spare couple of hours and fancy something warm and comforting. . . but that’s not to say they’re not worth it. So where do we go for what?
Bargain Corner in Fountain offers a simple tea/coffee for £1 or for free if you have a reusable cup*. The coffees are strong and can lead to severe caffeine crashes if not timed correctly though. 4West does the fancy seasonal Costa equivalents (gingerbread latte etc) and provides a more civilised setting to take your laptop. Limetree prices are similar to those at 4W and their iced coffees are known to be especially popular. It serves a full range of loose leaf teas as well – big bonus for me. I find their cappuccinos hard to beat though. Starbucks in the SU is cheaper than on the streets.
Saying all this, don’t forget that a good cup of homemade tea with the flat is enough for the perfect afternoon treat. And don’t forget a cafetiere if your coffee taste is too refined enough for the instant stuff.
*TOP TIP: GET A REUSABLE CUP!!!