Looking for a brunch spot with Instagrammable vegan food and creamy almond meow-tcha lattes?
“Yes!” I hear you say, “…but what’s with all of the cat puns?” Well, if you dine at ‘This Is A Coffee Shop’, you will also be in the company of some of the most beautiful, unique felines you’ve ever laid eyes on!
Now, whilst the cats are obviously a wonderful addition to this adorable little venue, it’s important that I let you know straight away that this isn’t a traditional cat cafe. The owners used to allow people to stroke the kitties but this eventually became a little too overwhelming for the poor little things so now there’s a strictly “no touching unless they approach you” rule, which seems like the kindest and fairest thing for the adorable little cats.
However, the owners have put a really strong emphasis on organic ingredients and so being surrounded by these gorgeous creatures is merely a bonus that you can appreciate whilst enjoying the delights on offer.
When you first walk in, you’ll walk into a cage where you remove your shoes and put on some communal slippers, for the sake of the cats. So, be prepared if you’re uncomfortable sharing shoes.
The staff here are really lovely, friendly and clearly passionate about what they do. They took the time to tell me about their cats and the ingredients they use.
I kicked things off with a little tasting session of all of the different coffees. There’s the matcha latte which was super creamy with a strong matcha taste, an almond latte which was very smooth, the iced coffee with lavender which was extremely sweet with a strong, perfumed scent and the beetroot latte made using a unique blend of elderflower and rose. I wasn’t too keen on the iced coffee but I did love the beetroot and the matcha.
At first, we were sat at the front of the cafe which was lovely but just as our food arrived, and we had just started to tuck in, we were uprooted and moved to the back of the cafe next to the litter tray which was a bit inconvenient and also a little smelly. I suppose you have to expect this to a certain extent when you’re sharing your space with animals but it was a bit off-putting while we were eating.
When it came to the food, the presentation was absolutely immaculate. I mean, seriously stunning. I was also very impressed by the fact that most of the items were vegan or easily ‘veganised’. First up, we tasted the vegan ‘Wild Mushroom’ toast with roasted wild mushrooms, tarragon and crispy kale, served on toasted sourdough with black garlic ketchup, crispy onions and spreadable vegan cheese. The mushrooms had a beautiful smokey flavour, the vegan cheese was lovely and creamy and the ‘black garlic ketchup’ was pickle-like with a divine tang which contrasted perfectly against the other ingredients. There was also a lovely chestnut taste which lingered in your mouth after chewing.
I must say though, we did find it a little difficult to eat at the tables as they were quite low down and meant that you had to lean over quite a bit.
Our next dish was the vegan ‘Avo Smash’ with toasted seven seeded rye & wholemeal bread, drizzled with house made garlic olive oil and vegan pesto, topped with avocado smash & Dukkah spice blend. The dish was nice enough with fresh avocado but needed a little more flavour, perhaps some chilli or sea salt flakes or a dash of lime to give it some acidity. It’s good to note that the food, whilst delicious, is a little on the pricey side because it is made using fresh, organic ingredients.
Next came the desserts. I absolutely adored the vegan chocolate cake! It was moist, sweet and the icing was super creamy. There were also fresh, sweet blueberries on top which were heavenly. I genuinely would’ve eaten ten slices of this if placed in front of me, with no ability to stop myself.
We also tried the vegan ‘Berry Vanilla’ with layers of vanilla cream cake, stuffed with berries. The sponge had a thick consistency and the icing is extremely sweet. I didn’t love this as much as the chocolate cake but it was still tasty.
All in all, this is a unique experience. The Mushroom dish is delicious and the chocolate cake is to die for. The cats are all kinds of beautiful and the staff are friendly. However, the prices are a little high and it would benefit from being a little more comfortable for diners.
– Mushroom Toast
– Chocolate Cake
– Beetroot Latte