I love coffee and I love coffee shops and in Nottingham I really am spoilt for choice.
I discovered Blend at Sneinton Market last year when I was tracking down Robins all over the city.
This one was in Sneinton, a fair way from all the others on the Hoodwinked trail. It was hot, it was lunchtime so I stopped at Blend and had – and I do not say this lightly – the best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever tasted. It also sells rose lemonade; I’m a big fan of rose lemonade.
So I have returned a few times and on one occasion, I was sitting outside wondering what the glorious smell was when I noticed the coffee roasting premises next door. One of my favourite smells is fresh coffee.
When my daughters came to visit a couple of months ago, we took them there for Sunday brunch… and now it’s become a bit of a habit.
We are slowly working our way through the menu – at least we were until last Sunday when they changed it. Now we have to start all over again. Damn :). The awesome grilled cheese sandwich is still on there though – they put mustard in it and cook it on a griddle properly with loads of cheese and sourdough bread. You have to taste it to believe it.
Just a few examples – cinnamon toast with maple syrup, brie with mushrooms and spinach, Phill had one with Gorgonzola and beetroot a couple of weeks ago, although that one’s not on the menu any more.
This Sunday I tried a vegan one – black beans and vegan mozzarella, served with a green salsa. It sounded delicious, it tasted delicious but more importantly it was called the Creature from the black legumes which amused me. Who wouldn’t want to eat a grilled sandwich called the creature from the black legumes?
Blend’s sourdough bread is delicious and the coffee is great too. But most of all I really, really like the location. Sneinton Market lanes have had a bit of a makeover. Formerly full of market traders buying the wares for their stalls and then derelict for a while, it is now filling up with quirky little shops: a vegan chocolatier, a cake shop that has great signs, a craft centre. It’s fun and it’s quirky and I love it.
There is lots and lots of outdoor seating – my preferred option even in mid winter – and an oversized chess set that I’ve yet to play (mainly cos I’m not that good).
We’ve also made a friend. This is Ty, he comes over to say hello as soon as our food arrives and waits very patiently for us to feed him, which we don’t.
He’s lovely. In fact he’s so lovely, I now have dog treats in my handbag even though I don’t own a dog. His young owner is lovely too. And we did ask her before we fed him some treats in case you’re wondering.
Sneinton Market has received another huge cash injection, it was announced this week. Avenues D and E of the former market wholesalers is to be refurbished next, which makes me very excited because I love a good mooch around there.
It’s one of the places in the city that makes me believe there’s a creative and cultural revolution going on here and I love that.