In a nutshell:
-a proper local coffee shop, excelling on all accounts
-small, authentic and an atmosphere you’ll want to spend all day in
-come here for Monmouth coffee and wholesome grub
Walking through Leicester, amidst all the beautiful architecture and historical sites, I was struck by the number of Subways, fast food joints and chain coffee shops. I couldn’t get to grips with what to expect each time I turned a corner. Would there be a thriving independent coffee shop? Was there even the demand here? The fabric of Leicester is built on such a rich variety of tastes, of social statuses and cultures that it takes predictability right out of the window. Perhaps it was because of this, that my finding Bread and Honey was rather like finding a sweet honeyed treasure trove. Exit the main street, then walk through beautiful Old Town with all its cute independent shops and cobbled streets, and soon enough you’ll end up at the timeless welcoming hug of a cafe: Bread and Honey.
Bread and Honey doesn’t try to be modern and fashionable, nor does it try to be rustic and edgy. It just exists and it reaches out a welcoming arm to anyone who walks past. Coming in, there were men from the building site waiting for their tea and quiche, right next to a hipster type nursing a coffee at the bar. There’s an authenticity and honesty that pervades through its walls and for this reason I came back again and again.
“These is an air of kindness here. A hark back to a simpler time when everyone knew each other and the owner knew your order (he actually did)”
Note: it doesn’t have indoor tables. Two worktop benches line two walls, and a long wooden bench faces the till, making the indoor seating arrangements minimal but particularly suitable for solo-working and one on one meet ups. It also gives the place a nice communal charm to it, a bit like Holmeside take out in Sunderland. Outside, however, are a good number of tables on the street.
The main reason I followed my nose here was hearing they did Monmouth coffee. Each coffee I had was consistent, well balanced and made with care.
Now this is what they get right here. Three steaming urns line the counter, all emitting different smells. On the day I went, the choices were mushroom soup, tomato carrot and celery soup, and a mince chilli. I had the tomato soup with sourdough bread and it was incredible. Weeks on, I am still thinking about it.
On top of that, take your pick from a range of quiches, fresh sandwiches, sweet treats and cakes, all made in-house. Breakfast is also offered, including porridge and sausage/bacon sarnies. A rare thing for a coffee shop to deliver so well on wholesome grub. Food is all made either in-house or locally. (Personal recommendation is the honey cake. Try it.)
All in all:
Bread and Honey is like a step back in time. Walking in, take in the classic home-made cakes and tray bakes (with traditional simple ingredients – no modern health-fad complications); Tunnock’s treats to pair with your coffee; warming soups bubbling away in urns; and an eclectic mix of tea pots and teacups to guzzle it all down with. There is an air of kindness here, a hark back to a simpler time when everyone knew each other and the owner knew your order (he actually did). A fine coffee shop, delivering on so many more levels than just coffee. Well worth a visit in you’re in the area.
Things to know:
-Music: anything from the Portico Quartet to Groove Armada. A proper eclectic mix bumbling away in the background. Click on the links above to get in the mood.
-Opening times: 7am-5pm Mon-Fri (closed Sat and Sun)
-Address: 15 King Street, Leicester, England, LE1 6RN
Recommended things to do nearby:
–Leicester Curve Theatre for some of the best regional based theatre in the country. An outstanding producing house
–Leicester Haymarket Theatre – featuring UK no.1 tours, concerts and ballets
-Try your hand at making your own gin at Leicester’s 45 Gin School, right in the centre
–Harriman & Co. There are cute shops…and then there’s Harriman and Co. The most perfect independent shop ‘for the considered home’
–King Richard III Visitor Centre