Whether shopping in your local city or exploring a new place, there comes a point when you need a break and a nice cup of tea. For many people, this means popping into one of various chain coffee shops or even pub chains. Whilst this is the easy choice, there is another and potentially much better option. A choice that will not only satisfy your hunger or your thirst but that will also directly support local businesses that are such a key part of any local community. Today, I want you to try and make you think a bit about these simple choices. Hopefully, after introducing you to Lily and the team at the Chapel Arts Cafe in Bath you’ll see what I mean.
Bath’s Chapel Arts Cafe – Just a Few Steps from the Shops
Bath is a wonderful city where tourists visit by the coach load, especially in the summer. With so many military camps nearby, I also know a lot of forces people and ex-military friends who have made their home in the surrounding area of Wiltshire, Somerset and Avon. I even have an Italian work colleague here in Cologne whose son chose Bath University for his studies. So after a busy day exploring or shopping in Bath, there’s no need to visit Starbucks or Costa. What you should really do is visit Lily and the team at the Chapel Arts Cafe instead.
Finding the Chapel Arts Cafe
The Chapel Arts Cafe is easy to find. Walk down to the bottom of Stall Street (the main shopping street). Follow the road to the right after Marks and Spencer, called Lower Borough Walls. Then, barely 20m away, take a left down the side of the Boots Hearing Care and you’ll find the fantastic Chapel Arts Cafe. The Cafe is in the basement of St James’ Memorial Hall. Take a look at the picture of their relaxing courtyard and imagine yourself relaxing from the crowds on a sunny day. If the weather is being very British and perhaps a little bit wet, the inside is warm and welcoming with a mixture of comfy sofas and cool retro furniture.
Introducing Lily and the Team (and her dad Mark)
The owners and managers of the Chapel Arts Cafe are Lily Heather and her dad Mark. Born and bred in Bath, they have owned the cafe since the start of 2016. After attending catering college, Lily was working at the cafe when the previous owners decided to sell it. Together with her dad Mark, Lily bought the cafe. As a lifelong vegetarian, Lily is passionate about providing great veggie food using as much local produce as possible. The cafe has a fantastic selection of flatbreads, salads and soups as well as having a children’s menu. They also have a selection of homemade cakes that are to-die-for, along with coffee and a range of speciality teas.
Check Out These Cakes and Tell Me You Don’t Want to Visit Your Local Independent Cafe
I would invite anyone to take a look at the wonderful, freshly made selection of food we had at the Cafe and then tell me they would rather visit a generic chain coffee shop. My vegetarian daughter Lucy had the Mexican Flat Bread and sadly (for her), having obviously enjoyed the first bite a little too loudly we all tried some. She didn’t have much left for herself but the flavours in such a simple looking dish were wonderful. The rest of the group shared Carrot Cake, Chocolate Brownie and an Orange and Pistachio Cake that was truly awesome. The coffee was lovely and the Earl Grey tea my wife had was fresh and aromatic.
What Choice Will You Make?
So the next time you’re shopping or exploring in Bath (or indeed any other town or city), what choice will you make? Will it be the usual chain places with food from a packet? Or will you make an effort to seek out the small independent cafes like the Chapel Arts Cafe. Not only do you help to support people like Lily, Mark and the team but you also support their local suppliers and producers as well. With interesting cafe’s like this on our High Street’s, thinks become so much more interesting and diverse at the same time. While you’re there, don’t just enjoy the food and drink, take some time to get to know the people behind the scenes as well.
Thanks for reading. You can read more about the Chapel Arts Cafe on their website here. The cafe is open from 10 am to 4.30 pm on Mondays to Saturdays and also on Friday and Saturday evenings if there’s an event in the Chapel Arts Centre. You can also find more about the Arts Centre here as well.
Until next time, have a great one.