On my second attempt at eating breakfast at Coffee Architects in Leamington Spa I succeeded – but only just. The first time was a sunny Sunday morning in Spring – one of the first of the year. It appeared that everyone had the same idea because when we turned up at the sun trap on Warwick Street all tables were full and the waitress advised they had stopped taking food orders because the wait time was an hour. I really respect the approach because it avoided disappointment.
On a similar sunny weekend morning we tried again and after first collaring a real perch right in the window which would have been very uncomfortable for eating, we found a table became free up the alleyway alongside the cafe – in the shade and cool but fine. Once again Coffee Architects was full which is a great sign. One of my other favourite breakfast stops – Fresh Basil in Belper has he same challenge.
The menu is really nice for brunch – lots of eggs, bread, bacon and syrup – just the kind of treat I like for brunch rather than just the full monty every time. We ordered and were advised that the current delay out of he kitchen was around twenty five minutes – were we OK with it. There are a few places I have been to that wouldn’t have mentioned anything but I like the approach – it gives me the choice.
Coffee Architects is a great name but it does set the expectation bar quite high. Our flat white and Americano were under close scrutiny when they came. They passed with flying colours. The flat white was pronounced “best ever” with coffee being the predominant flavour and the milk feeling nice, thick and creamy. The American was a rich and intense and just how I like my morning brew. The orange juice arrived in milk bottles alongside the glass. My initial response was that I don’t like the tableware gimmicks but as the amount of OJ was more than the size of the glass I can understand the dilemma.
Then the food began to arrive. It was immediately obvious that they know how to cook an egg. All the poached and scrambled eggs were spot on. The poached eggs were just moist and a beautiful colour. The bread for the toast was nicely browned and ‘held its own’. The Eggs Benedict was very generous with lashings of hollandaise sauce and ham – it looked sensational.
Then we had a hitch. The two dishes were finished and the final one didn’t appear. We had that awkward few minutes where you aren’t sure if it is just a delay coming from the kitchen or whether you have been forgotten. It turned out to be the latter. The waitress apologised and produced the waffle within a couple of minutes once we had chased it.
It was worth the wait. Again it’s a pretty plate of food with a nice fresh crispy waffle with a soft brioche-like centre topped with two beautifully poached eggs and well cooked bacon. The bacon is one of the ‘tells’ for breakfast. The quality is immediately obvious but also, in a busy kitchen there must be a temptation to send it out a fraction early. As long as the fat is cooked, and there is not too much of it I’m fine but I really like a cook that aims for consistency regardless of workload. My favourite bacon is well done but stopped well before it becomes fragile and this was it. There was a pot of cold stewed berries in the dish which were tasty but I didn’t really understand where they would go. The maple syrup was warm and in a little pot so that I could control quantities. I guess I could have gone half sweet/half savoury if I had wanted to and if I’d remembered before scoffing the lot.
Coffee Architects is a fabulous cafe serving great coffee and great brunch food. I’m putting the slight service glitch as a one off and I will be attempting to go back. Prices are very reasonable for the quality of the food – the Eggs Benedict was £5.50. It is one of those places where you will be glad if you get in but you need a plan B if you can’t so that you can carry on the rest of your day with a smile on your face.