We’re back in the swing of things again already and open again Tuesday 29th January after our belated Christmas holiday.

We had a fascinating trip to the West Coast where we ate our way around most of the well-known, and lots of the lesser well-known, bakeries, vegan cafes/restaurants and coffee roasteries.

Interesting things we found

  1. Everything in San Francisco was a smidge on the pricey side. Two coffees? $9 thank you. Lunch for two, no alcohol? $40 please. One and a half sourdough loaves at Tartine (the full loaf was similar size to our Chia loaf) – that’s $17 (with no please after it). And I almost passed out when my single basket of (admittedly organic, interesting and small-batch) groceries came to over $100.
  2. You shouldn’t wander into the Tenderloin area of San Francisco whilst looking for Mr Holmes’ Bakehouse unless it’s not a sugar hit you’re looking for but a different kind of hit altogether…
  3. San Francisco’s weather is like a bit like Norwich’s
  4. Never mind, you can always warm up with yet another lukewarm, just drinkable, sour coffee.
  5. …and they also have a Rainbow Wholefoods
  6. I had oven envy at Tartine’s Manufactory. It’s even bigger and better than ours. (Can’t say the same about the bread though . . . )
  7. Los Angeles was a really pleasant surprise. Maybe it’s the weather but everyone was very chilled and very happy and we had really professional service in quite a few places. Maybe it’s all the Dr Dre albums and Harry Bosch books, but I didn’t see that coming
  8. Not only do Californians love great fermentation in their bread, they love it in the drinks too. Kombucha was absolutely everywhere. (If you haven’t tried ours already, find out what the fuss is about).
  9. Forget posing down at the hip night spot. Posing Californian-style nowadays involves the following: uber-cool artisan coffee roastery/ coffee bar, slightly disinterested serving staff (usually with ridiculous hair/ piercings/ clothes), an apple laptop product (any type will do, the thinner the better), getting up from your table periodically to “take this important call”
  10. The beaches are almost as good as those in South Wales. Yep, they’re that good…