Calypso Coffee, Torquay

In a nutshell:

-perfect location – on the high street and a stone’s throw away from the seafront

-making waves as the high street’s first independent specialty coffee shop

-relaxed and casual, offering lunch, sweet treats, fresh smoothies, milkshakes and coffee

Calypso coffee: a welcome retreat

You may have heard Torquay described as the English Riviera – I can attest that there is something of the Mediterranean about it. It sits right on the sea front, boasting an incredible marina which opens out onto neighbouring bays and coves not dissimilar to something off the Italian coast. More importantly, it is the only place I know with palm trees in people’s front gardens.

And so when Calypso Coffee opened its doors just a few years ago – a stone’s throw away from the sea front, and becoming Torquay’s first independent specialty coffee shop on the high street – it has fast become a go-to spot for holiday-makers and locals alike.

“The family owned coffee shop has firmly placed its mark on Torquay high street – and it looks like it is here to stay”

Situated next to The Edinburgh Woollen Mill and opposite the fast food joint, ‘Stuff Your Face’, one might think it sits a bit out of place, but it only adds a further dimension to the colourful feast that is Torquay high street. Speaking with one of the baristas, she mentioned when they first opened their doors there were growing pains, due to most of the high street shoppers here being accustomed to the lower prices and standardised ways of chain coffee shops. However, with a bit of education and a gradual build up of a loyal customer base – as well as the obvious attraction from the holiday-makers – this family owned coffee shop has firmly placed its mark on Torquay high street – and it looks like it is here to stay.

“It makes the most of its seaside location with the addition of artwork on the walls, capturing beaches and scenes of tranquility”

Calypso Coffee sticks out like a welcome retreat, with upcycled-looking wooden furniture bursting onto the high street, and inside the vibe is relaxed and calm. Staff are welcoming and chatty, and there isn’t an obvious ‘style’ or ‘scene’ here, which made it all the more inclusive. Customers I saw ranged from a young couple on a first date, to an older woman with her dog, to two men having a meeting, to a girl happily brunching alone. It makes the most of its seaside location with the addition of artwork on the walls, capturing beaches and scenes of tranquility.

The coffee:

“Consistency and expertise run through the fingertips of each of their baristas”

The coffee here is excellent. They have collaborated with the roasting giants, Colanna, to make their very own blend, Calypso. It’s balanced and moreish. They also offer Square Mile and Colonna’s own coffee too. I had a lot of iced lattes here this week (it was a hot week) and they were always good, as were the flat whites. Consistency and expertise run through the fingertips of each of their baristas. Note they have a huge range of smoothies, milkshakes and fresh juices on offer here, including different flavours of coffee (see menu at bottom) – this doesn’t rock my boat personally, but it’s a big selling point for them here. Coffees can be made via V60 or Aeropress too.

The food:

The food is well chosen to aid a hungry stomach after a long day on the beach. Choose from freshly made bagels, to pastries, to homemade cakes, to their mini bites selection, which is a cracking deal at 3 for £3.

All in all:

A perfectly tuned coffee shop for Torquay high street, catering to high street shoppers and beach-goers alike. Fun, chilled and welcoming – I’d say it is the place to go to after a long day out on the beach. And as you sip on your iced latte/smoothie/nitro cold brew, you might be forgiven for thinking you’re in some tucked away beach shack, a long long way away from the high street. For that’s the magic of Calypso Coffee; by the time you’re in there you forget all of your surroundings – of the cashmere jumpers and tartan scarves in The Edinburgh Woollen Mill next door, and the burgers and kebabs in Stuff Your Face – and you’re taken into a new, simple world where only coffee and the beach are on the agenda.

Just be ready for when you exit – the veritable feast that is Torquay high street hits you with all its colours and flavours as soon as you step outside.

Things to know:

-WiFi

-wheelchair accessible

-toilet facilities

-outdoor seating available

-family friendly

-music: in the background. Super chilled with a funky twist, perfect for a cool down after a day out on the beach

-Opening Hours: 8:30-6pm (Mon-Sat); 9-6pm (Sun)

-Address: 45 Fleet Street, Torquay, Devon TQ2 5DW

-Website: www.facebook.com/calypsotorquay

Recommended things to do nearby:

Imperial Hotel – pop in for spa facilities and afternoon tea

Cary Park Tennis Club – especially good for junior tennis

Torquay Lawn Tennis Club – home of the famous Torbay Open

Princess Theatre

Crazy Golf

-Visit the beautiful Cary Arms

-Catch a ferry to Brixham and enjoy some of the country’s finest fish and chips

-Visit Agatha Christie’s Greenway house via ferry

-Go jet-skiing on Torquay sea front


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