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Sunday, 1 March 2009

Right up my alley! Veggie cafe in Nottingham

When I first started doing these blogs at the beginning of January 2009 a friend recommended that I should visit a hidden away café called alley café bar. Yesterday, after a long day out around Beeston and the Nottingham city centre, I called in about three in the afternoon for a drink. The alley café bar is situated in Cannon Court – off Long Row. There is a sign on the main street.

What a super little place! It was up a narrow set of stairs and was pretty full this Saturday afternoon. I had no choice but to sit at the bar with my pint of lager. Up to the left of me was a tiny little galley kitchen with glimpses of the industrious cooks and kitchen assistants. The whole atmosphere this afternoon was one of a continental style café in an attic. Along the back wall was a panoramic mirror and the long side wall had some good framed photos of nature subjects. The music was low key and chilled out.

I got talking to a man and woman next to me and explained that I was doing a blog about cafes and coffee houses and their ambiance. People watching too. They seemed really interested and had a quick look at a couple of my funny photos that I had taken today. They said that this place was one of their favourite places to be. I wrote this blogsite address for them on a taxi rank business card.

I left them to their newspaper reading and had a quick read of the alley café bar menu.

Amongst many other choices they serve are; and I quote from the menu:

Tempting Tempeh Burgers
Happy Hemp Burgers
Organic marinated Tofu Steaks
Black Bean & Mole Burritos.

A guy to the right of me was munching away on a colossal looking sandwich all of which have names at this charming place. You get a choice of bread from bagel/granary/French stick/ ciabatta/ tortilla wrap/100% rye. Now comes the interesting part of choosing your fillings. If you chose a smoked pesto, tofu and artichoke heart sandwich you would order a Mildred. An Ethel would get you cream cheese, avocado and pine nuts; a Bert would be brie, blueberry conserve and grapes. There are ten such choices on the menu and all of them come with salad and cost £4.45 presently.

There’s lots of other choices of veggie dishes and all very reasonably priced. Plus they have a pâte of the day and a soup of the day. I loved the little bunny motif on the salad selections part of the menu and the orange cat relaxing on the sofa.

I also liked their ethos of ‘creating an atmosphere that combines the style of a bar with the relaxed feel of a European café. They aim to provide imaginative vegetarian and vegan food without having a negative impact on the Earth.’

I had another friendly chat with a man who wanted to take the vacant stool next to me. Our chat was about film photography vs digital. Having my camera sat on the bar instigated this. This seemed a really convivial place. I finished my lager and took a few photos as I departed with permission from one of the staff. I’ll be back.


Anonymous said...

Wow, haven't been to the Alley Caff in almost 10 years! Had some good nights there...

Gail's Man said...

I've always fancied going here, but haven't done it yet. Maybe because it's out of the way and I forget it's there.

I live in Beeston, and didn't see you wandering around. Which cafe's did you go to?

Anonymous said...

Nice write up, glad you enjoyed it.

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

Lovely post...the interior images put me right there into the warmth of this cozy place (and out of the snow we have here...AGAIN...hmmmph...
They also have a very welcoming sign.

Wonderful work my friend...!

Roz said...

I love this place, being veggie it's nice to actually be in the majority for menu choices!! I really like the fact that they stick to their guns with regards to using top organic ingredients, despite the credit crunch.

French Fancy said...

When it is a lot of choice all with interesting sounding fillings, I can stand there for a long long time trying to decide. Whatever I then end up ordering doesn't look half as nice as whatever the person at the next table is having. Why does that always happen?

axeman3uk said...

Must visit this place again, excellent write up Phil.

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