Now admittedly this may not be new to most but as we've been out of the country for a fair few years the Harris + Hoole coffee shop at a nearby Tesco was a pleasant surprise. We're pretty used to finding the likes of Costa in supermarkets and petrol stations these days. But a coffee shop that feels artisan and offers exciting non-coffee drinks and has the right dash of the personal touch is a welcome discovery.
With a laid-back diner feel, plenty of light and air and a smiley, enthusiastic - not to mention talented - barista (or hooligan as they are known in-house), it felt like we'd arrived somewhere a bit different. As it was a girly indulge in some sweet sustenance between finishing school and going to an after-school activity, we were after something more than just a pick-me-up latte. We weren't disappointed! Refreshing pink grapefruit soda made with our old friends' MONIN's delicious pink grapefruit syrup was lip-smacking and works wonders at waking you up if you've had your caffeine quota for the day. Add to this a memorable mango smoothie and a delightful hot chocolate topped with the cutest foamy bear face you ever did see (courtesy of our talented barista) and we were fully recharged and raring to go again. (Did we forget the crumbly, goes-everywhere, melt-in-the-mouth Millionaire's Shortbread? We're trying to!)
Of course it goes without saying that here at hoot & holler we can't help take our hat off to the beautifully named Harris + Hoole. It was obviously written in the coffee foam that our paths would cross. Now, we've downloaded the app and are heading back for a free taste of the H+H coffee this week. Do holler if you ever need any PR!
Clare Pope, always has her head in a book - current read The Exiles Return by Elisabeth de Waal