The beautiful spa town of Bath is known for its incredible architecture, ancient spas and rich history. But this picturesque city has a big secret in store — it’s home to some incredible independent coffee houses.
Whether you live in the area or you’re an enthusiastic traveller, make sure you pop into at least one of these unique independent coffee shops the next time you’re in Bath.
1. Society Cafe
Located on the beautiful Kingsmead Square, Society Cafe is a tiny coffee shop with a big heart. Pet friendly and stylish in its own way, this boutique coffee house is a great place to enjoy a cup of expertly brewed coffee… or a cup of tea… or a house speciality hot chocolate with all the trimmings. There is a wide selection of homemade cakes and pastries, as well as sandwiches and various other savoury treats — all of which are made on the premises every day. The coffee here is supplied by local roasters Origin Coffee, but Society Cafe also likes to feature a special guest blend every week.
Located on Northumberland Place in the city centre, Rosario’s is about as close to an authentic Italian coffee house as you’ll find in Bath. Owned and operated by Sicilian-born Rosario Bavetta, Rosario’s is a charming eatery located inside a stunning Georgian building — which also happens to have Grade II listed status. All of the cakes and pastries are made by Rosario and her team, except the cannoli, which is imported from Italy.
The coffee at Rosario’s is more akin to that you’d find in Rome or Milan. The food menu is extensive, and includes several breakfast dishes, including several types of scrambled egg. There’s a light lunch menu, as well as a selection of classic Italian fare which includes Sicilian meatballs and Rosario’s special salad.
3. The Green Bird Cafe
Located in the picturesque Margaret’s Buildings area of the city, The Green Bird Cafe has to be one of the prettiest coffee houses you’ll find anywhere in the World. There is a small outdoor seating area to the front of the shop, as well as a secluded courtyard at the back — so al fresco coffee drinking is always a possibility. All of the coffee sold here is sourced from local roaster Brian Wogan. The management have even sourced their own bean from a small, independent plantation in Nicaragua.
As well as a wide selection of tea and coffee, The Green Bird Cafe is home to some stunning cakes, pastries and sweet treats. However, this place is never busier than it is at breakfast. There’s toast and jam, American pancakes with maple syrup, porridge or a range of breakfast meals — most of which come with free range eggs from a local Devon farm. Among the most popular dishes during the day include the salted beef, emmental and dill pickle sandwich and the celeriac and Midford Cider soup, which has something of a reputation in the city.
4. Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House and Museum
If you want to sample a great cup of coffee in a quintessentially English cafe, there’s no better place to go than Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House and Museum. According to the owners, this is the oldest house in Bath — originally built way back in 1482. There is a full selection of classic Italian espresso coffee on offer, but the real star of the show is the building. Relax with an expertly crafted latte, then spend an hour viewing the various exhibits.
You will find all of the classic cakes, pastries and biscuits most people associate with coffee shops and tea houses here. However, if you buy just one snack, make sure it’s the famous Sally Lunn Bun, which is available in sweet and savoury flavours. You can also ask to have your bun toasted. There is an all day menu, as well as a dinner/pre-theatre menu — both of which change regularly.
5. Colonna & Small’s
When you first enter Colonna & Small’s, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve entered a modern wine bar. The decor is clean and minimalistic, and the counter appears to be filled with what look like beer fonts. However, these fonts dispense the very best coffees money can buy — all of which are sourced ethically.
Colonna & Small’s puts the science back into espresso making, but it also gives filter platform its own platform. While there are some savoury and sweet treats on offer, the coffee bean is very much the star of the show. Baristas can regularly be seen giving brewing demonstrations, and there are regular tasting sessions for everyone to enjoy. Colonna Labs is the research and development arm of the business, which monitors the latest technological innovations and researches issues such as coffee composting.
There are actually dozens of great independent coffee shops in Bath, so you’ll never have to walk more than a few yards in the city centre to find one.