In a nutshell:
-a social enterprise that sets out to make a difference
-promotes healthy lifestyle and community activities
-wholesome, nourishing food
Situated a stone’s throw from the high street, this cafe gets you walking up a steep cobbled pavement in order to locate its famous blue door. As I arrived (a little out of breath) I came to realise that my Velocity Cafe and Bicycle Workshop experience had already begun: it promotes a healthy lifestyle and by goodness they had us practising what they preach.
It was hard to find a cafe I loved in Inverness – ones of artisanal standard seem to be few and far between here – but as soon as I found this one, I knew I had to come back again and again.
Bikes are everywhere, which is awesome if you’re an enthusiast, but don’t let that put you off if you’re not – from another perspective it is a quirky, fun backdrop to what is an exceptional cafe with a really big heart
This cafe is a social enterprise with very clear aims: to nourish cyclists while they wait for their bikes to be fixed; to promote a healthy lifestyle; to encourage community and use local produce. This comes across pretty clearly on first entry. Bikes are everywhere, which is awesome if you’re an enthusiast, but don’t let that put you off if you’re not – from another perspective it is a quirky, fun backdrop to what is an exceptional cafe with a really big heart.
They go beyond a community board: they organise cycling trips, they hold spoken poetry and storytelling nights, they run a board games club, and they’ve even created a short film about cycling
A ‘community board’ lines the wall, showcasing anything from second hand bike sales, to gigs, to the local Potato Day. I’ve never known a cafe to actually build a sense of community beyond a local notice board and a couple of events here and there. This for me is what makes this place incredibly special. They go beyond a community board: they organise cycling trips, they hold spoken poetry and storytelling nights, they run a board games club, and they’ve even created a short film about cycling which premiered at the Eden Court. It is enough to make one want to move to Inverness and be a member of this active, thriving community. They made a short film about why they do what they do which is definitely worth a watch.
Now let’s talk about the coffee. They take care over their coffee and it is of good standard, but bear in mind the milk-based coffees are rich. Even to my taste (I love a creamy coffee) the latte was too much, so I stuck with the flat white over the course of my visits. The beans they use are from Paper Cup Roasters in Glasgow. And can I do a shout out to Minor Figures oat milk, which they use – for me it is the best oat milk on the market at the moment for coffee.
The food they cook is quintessentially ‘wholesome’. Their menu changes every day, with all dishes being vegan/vegetarian. Once you place your order, the staff will ladle you out whatever is on the menu that day, and you can be assured it will be warming, nourishing, home-cooked food. All the food is made behind the counter by one of the staff members (who are lovely), bar one or two dishes, using local produce. Cakes are predominately made in-house too.
Once you place your order, the staff will ladle you out whatever it on the menu that day, and you can be assured it will be warming, nourishing, home-cooked food.
Perfect to come here alone, or with a group. The vibe is something like a large common room with a modern, rustic edge. Choose from long social tables, to smaller intimate tables, or sit on the bench at the window to watch the world go by.
All in all:
Maybe you’re trekking round Inverness, maybe you’re visiting the theatre, maybe you’re a local and you want to find a new haunt – just go to the Velocity Cafe. It is a place that sucks you into a healthy, peaceful vortex where no one seems to be in a rush. I came out feeling a) very happy and b) very smug with my new healthy lifestyle that I now wanted to tell everyone about.
Note it closes most days at 4pm (except Thursdays and Sundays – see opening times at the bottom).
Things to know:
-Music: mainly no music on the times I went in. On a Saturday, radio 6 was quietly playing in the background.
-Open 9-4pm, except Thursdays 9-9pm, and Sundays 10-5pm
-Address: 1 Crown Avenue, Inverness, IV2 3NF
Recommended places nearby:
–Hootananny for live, local music
–Black Isle Bar for local craft ale
–Eden Court Theatre and Cinema