In a nutshell:
-laid back, modern and cosy
-expert coffee; expert cake
Quiet, beautiful and bathed in architectural history, Cheltenham pretty much has everything going for it. The people are even nice. So coming across Cheltenham’s very own Coffee Dispensary right in the centre of town made me fall in love with this place even more.
The make-up of the The Coffee Dispensary is a perfectly pitched contradiction. On the one hand it is modern and sleek with geometric on the walls and modern minimal music going on; and on the other, it is cosy and soft like a warm hug, offering an inviting atmosphere from the cold biting winds, with gorgeous furry cushions on the seats. You could come here to have a quick meeting, or you could while away the hours over a caffeinated catch up with friends.
The vibe is laid back and chilled with no pressure to leave straight after your coffee.
The words I’d use to describe my experience: expertly efficient. Everything is about coffee: from the quotes on the walls, to the well chosen coffee-related books on offer, to the top quality merchandise (pick up a Chemex, an Aeropress and even a Hario grinder here). The knowledge of the staff is vast, but they were not overly chatty – to many people, this is a plus.
The star of the show is the latte art here. The density of the foam is so rich that it makes your flat white feel very decadent as you sip through what seems like a piece of fine art (see pictures below). They have a great selection of beans to choose from, but I had their house option which is Dr Strangelove – slightly on the acidic side for me, but works well in a milky coffee to balance it out. Over the week I had a mocha, a latte, a flat white and a black coffee. My favourite: the mocha (their hot chocolates/mochas are made with actual chocolate pieces and it’s enough to make you re-think your morning coffee forever*).
*a bold statement
The cakes and brownies are by Hetty’s Kitchen which is a local bakery in Gloucester, and they caused excitement amongst me and my friends for the week. Another point of conversation were the pastries, supplied by Salt Bakehouse: their cronuts soon became an important part of our day.
All in all:
A brilliant place that offers something a bit more modern in what can sometimes seem a traditional town. Right in the centre, a stone’s throw away from the theatre and opposite House of Fraser, it’s a perfect pit-stop when exploring Cheltenham for the day. You’ll want to show it off to your friends: ‘oh this little place I know’…and then with a casual shrug of the shoulders, lead them into this empire of coffee know-how. (There’s also a nail bar called Nailed & Utopia right next to it, so if you’re into that kind of thing, get your nails done before and feel fabulous for your proceeding coffee date).
Things to know:
-music: cool, minimal beats, very much background music
-closes at 5:30pm
-Address: 18 Regent Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1HN
Recommended places nearby: