Bath is my favourite place to go shopping. I absolutely love the city for its uniform buildings of flawless Georgian architecture and the beautiful surrounding landscape.
Unlike in most areas of the UK where large coffee house chains have taken over, Bath is still holding firmly to the culture of privately owned cafés and tea houses. They are substantially more popular than the big brands and quite rightly so, for they produce far better cakes and pastries and offer a wide range of coffees and teas to accompany your chosen sweet treat.
When mum and I go on a shopping trip in beautiful Bath, Jacob’s Coffee House is always our pit-stop of choice for tea and cake, or occasionally one of their freshly made sandwiches, featuring in-house-baked salted and fragrant focaccia bread. This café occupies a little corner shop off the cobbled streets in the heart of this heritage city, nestled between the Abbey and the Bath Pump Rooms. It has a very cosy and homely atmosphere with 3 different dining rooms upstairs and the choice between tables or a 1920s lounge-style sofa areas, complete with grand leather armchairs.
The cakes are all presented on rustic wooden boards set against large sash windows. It is a feast for the eyes and when walking past, you can’t help but stop to admire the tempting selection on offer. Grab a plate and help yourself, order your drink and pay downstairs, then settle in and they will bring everything up to you.
Every style of coffee is available here; strong and black, frothy-topped, or smooth and milky. A seasonal house-blend is also available, as well as special single-origin blends.
Although a coffee house, Jacob’s offers an impressive range of tea, from standard English breakfast to greens, whites, Oolongs and herbal blends. The teas come on a sweet wooden tray, along with a timer with individual brewing times for each variety. You can also cool off on a hot summers day with one of their fruity smoothies or juices.
My favourite of Jacob’s’ cakes is their Passion cake: ripe banana, zingy pineapple, carrot, flakes of coconut, chunks of pecan and spiced with cinnamon and ginger – an eclectic and mouthwatering fusion. The sponge is topped with lashings of slightly tangy cream cheese frosting, a generous garnish of whole pecan nuts and dusted with more spices and icing sugar. It is like a traditional carrot cake taken to the tropics and tastes just as good as it looks, if not better. Moist, nutty, fruity, light and well-balanced: each ingredient is present in every bite.
Pie and mash, generously-sized scones and warm desserts are also available for cold winter’s days.
Jacob’s Coffee House
6 Abbey Street
Open 07:00-18:00 daily