EDitorial ± 5-Mar-2001

A Half-Decent Cup Of Coffee

Shopping in Ipswich? Popped in on the Park & Ride and in dire need of a sit-down beverage and a pastry? Here's my quick A to V guide to finding a quaffable tea or coffee in the home of the Tractor Boys.
Allders   Allders
Tucked away in the Buttermarket shopping centre. Has been there for yonks, from the days when it used to be Owen Owen. Possibly the first place in town to offer a cafetiere. Usually a table available, and still worth a visit.
Blends   Blends
Opposite BHS is Blends, normally with a couple of tables outside. Must have been there for a couple of years now. Can get busy. One of the few places to offer a pot of leaf-tea, and with one of those removal filters to prevent stewing. Try the sizeable Bakewell tart.
Costa   Costa
A newcomer to the town last summer, Costa seem to be doing well. Tricky to get a seat at times, let alone a sofa. Service can be slow. But the coffee is good, if expensive, and the cakes are fabulous. Toasted sandwiches are nice too, but don't order one if you're in a hurry.
Enjoy   Enjoy
Probably my favourite coffee shop at present. Towards the top of Lloyds Avenue, it seems to be modelled on Pret-A-Manger, which is no bad thing. Good variety of coffee and a good selection of freshly made sandwiches, plus hot paninis. Friendly service, and child-friendly too.
Jaceys   Jaceys
Down by the Ancient House, this was called Bensons until last year. They offer a wide selection of hot snacks and drinks. Recommended is the ciabatta brunch, which is your basic English breakfast in some fancy Italian bread. And with a pot of tea thrown in.
O'Briens   O'Briens
Just by the TSB (the old central post office), this place popped up at much the same time as Costa and Enjoy. Small premises but with a number of window seats. Bizarre piped Irish music to accompany your wrap and cappuccino. I need to try it a couple more times.
Pickwicks   Pickwicks
Up Dial Lane from the Ancient House, Pickwicks (formerly Boodles?) has been at the same location for years preaching the good news about ground coffee and good tea. These days all the tables are on the ground floor, though they have open-air tables in the summer.
Vagabonds   Vagabonds
A couple of doors down from Costa, in sight of the Giles statue, Vagabonds is a prime student hang-out. Trendy loud-ish music, smoking in the main part of the cafe, and selling monster cappuccinos & smoothies. Plenty of bagels on the menu.
Violets   Violets
Very close to the Corn Exchange, and the complete opposite of Vagabonds. Come here for a civlised time to sample the tea: pot, strainer and top-up hot water provided. Very nice array of cakes and sponges.

These are the ones I flit between at the moment, so take your pick. Any good or bad experiences, let me know.

Be seeing you!