L O C A T I O N
The Stowaway is definitely one of a kind (even the address is just too cool). A tiny rounded opening with the brightest colours and the most enticing menus scrawled over the lengthy blackboards. Its not a shop, or a store or a cafe it is definitely one big work of art. The ‘cafe’ is built into what used to be an old fishmongers which we can tell from the slightly slanted floors which presumably allowed the water to escape from.
The ‘cafe’ is literally built underneath a walkway in one of the many arches which acted as stability for the historical promenade that used to lie above it.The place oozes charm and character and the brief explanation of the history makes the cafe sparkle. The original sea-washed brick engulfing the cafe contrasted with the pure, fresh pastel colours creates for manmade seaside beauty. The menu includes everything from teas, coffees, fresh sandwiches, ice-creams and cakes. With one person serving, as soon as I walked in I was greeted with a smile and a huge welcome as were the selection of customers after me. I was lucky to meet the owner who explained to me a little about the history and a little about his business journey – he was truly lovely.
T H E C O F F E E / T E A
I ordered a Mocha and a Chai Tea. Both drinks were served in a standard white china mug and saucer with the coffee brand Morillo’s stamped on the side. The mocha was so tasty with rich chocolate flavouring. The coffee was smooth and deep giving that amazing balance between the kick of the coffee and the sweetness of the chocolate. The balance is always hard to get right I find – some cafes use really cheap chocolate and it ends up tasting overly sweet. If I could label this coffee ‘gourmet’ then I would. I always find it charming when you go to a cafe where you can actually SEE the coffee being made in front of you. You can see that time, effort and passion goes into it.
The owner explained to me that they use a liquid form of Chai which is made in Bath, England. The ingredients are reduced down to intensify the flavour. My chai included Cardamom, Cinnamon and Vanilla. You can actually buy the bottles of Chai too. It was my first time tasting Chai ( i know, for a coffee blogger its bad!). I was offered the choice of a Chai with milk (making it a chai latte) or a chai with water (making it a chai tea. I chose the latter, I loved it. I feel it would be a great drink to have in the winter; the spicy aromas are paired with a slight sweetness. If you prefer your herbal or Chai’s to have that spicy or gritty flavour then this blend may not be for you. It is more of a subtle balance between spice with sweetness taking over. I personally love tea with Cardamom – I drink it at home and I could really taste the hints of Cardomom in the Chai. The cinnamon smelt amazing ( as you can imagine). I don’t usually like anything with cinnamon but it works here because it isn’t overpowering – the other flavours are still present. It was what I could describe as a hearty drink. One that makes you feel warm inside which was perfect for me because it was pouring it down outside today!
B L E N D
The coffee is supplied by a family run business Morillo’s. Their coffee is backed by a biological certificate and they are a member of the E.S.E. Consortium (Easy Servicing Espresso). Their motto – “The difference between an espresso made with one type of coffee, compared with a good quality Italian Espresso made from a blend of a least 7-13 different types of coffee, has been likened to the difference between a concerto played on a piano and one played by a symphony orchestra. The first one can be appreciated, but it certainly cannot compare with the second.” They use a mixture of arabica and Robusta from all over the world. I will update you as to what blend the Stowaway used!
A T M O S P H E R E
The atmosphere here is welcoming, relaxing and attractive. I mean that in the best way – the colours, the menu and the decor makes it an attraction for people walking past. The owner was so friendly, there were smiles are round. The decor is great. One section of the rounded roof/walls is made entirely out of wood.
The wood appears unvarnished and in its natural state creating a sort of Scandinavian feel. The tables aren’t uniform which I love. All the wood blends together to create an organised mess. Old novelty books line the table – one was a children’s story about hangovers which I’m sure will benefit people on an early sunday morning! Dotted around the table were old antique lamps giving off an amber glow which added to the overall feel.
O T H E R
The Stowaway also had lots of little products for sale. They had novelty items made locally, bottles of Chai, honeys, jams, toys, books, bags and much more. So you can even shop whilst you wait! (girls – don’t get too excited). Even though this place is small it definitely packs a punch. Its always great to support the locals too!
R A T I N G S
If you’re craving a takeaway drink or a bite to eat or you even want somewhere to sit and let the world go by this is the perfect place for you.
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