Five amazing Chester coffee shops you need to visit

Chester: the promised land of Roman soldiers, horse races and medieval two tier shopping experiences. And, as it turns out, some really quirky and unique coffee shops and tea rooms.


Being someone who thinks cocktails aren’t just for the weekends (they’re for life, yo) and craft beer is a state of mind rather than a night out it took me embarrassingly long to figure out that cafes are the rockstars of daytime treats.


I kid you not. It took me well into my thirties to realise that tea rooms and coffee shops are the kind of sanctuary everyone needs from their everyday routines. They enable you to scoff down a dangerous amounts of cake while washing it down with an expertly crafted cup of coffee.


I’ve also recently discovered there’s something oddly pleasurable in the ritual of tea drinking. Waiting for hubby to lovingly brew his tea in a pot (for what I at the time considered to be an unreasonable wait before consumption) used to drive me nuts. Pouring it the right way and measuring just the right amount of milk used to be beyond me. But I get it now. Tea cannot be rushed. Nor can the person drinking the tea.


So, now that I have mastered the most British of past times, afternoon tea (or coffee and cake related shenanigans as I call them) I feel like it’s adequately appropriate to list the places I mostly like to partake in said activity when out and about the historic city of Chester.


Without further ado, and in no particular order:


The Mad Hatter, Chester


The Mad Hatter
On the historic rows of Chester this quirky little cafe is an absolute must. You can sit outside on the rows watching the world go by or park yourself inside in the long but narrow, corridor-like cafe. The interiors are a little mad (pun intended), nothing seems to match and the colour-scheme is all over the place but that’s a massive part of the character of this place. The staff are super friendly and they will bring you a pot of lapsang souchong and one of their gorgeous handcrafted cupcakes for just five of your English pounds! The only minus about this place is that there’s Wi-Fi and the deep medieval houses are notorious for terrible connection but to be fair, if you can’t let the outside world slip away from you here, you’re doomed and shouldn’t even try to redeem yourself.


Jaunty Goat, Chester

The Jaunty Goat
These guys boldly claim to have the “best coffee in Chester” and you know what, they’re not far off. The Goat is a modern space with some comfy sofas and high tables for those with either long legs or no aspiration of sitting close to the floor (like me). Either way they serve a great selection of savouries and sweet treats and their coffee? It’s pretty damn impressive. The Goat has a relaxed atmosphere and it’s always super busy so don’t be surprised if a stranger asks to sit in your table when the space is scarce. It’s a lively place where I personally get very little work done regardless of their complimentary Wi-Fi but that is by no means a negative; many a friend has been met and made in this place.


Tea on the Wall, Chester

Tea on The Wall
The only thing more historic than the Chester Rows are the City Walls. And this little gem is nested right on the top end of the city, on the walls, above Chester’s most famous comedy club and the Cathedral Greens. If you don’t know where the cafe is you might accidentally just stroll by, but don’t be fooled by the teeny tiny entrance! This place has tons of space. it’s like the tardis of coffee shops (if you don’t get that reference you should hang your head in shame). My first time here was just before midday on a random Thursday ages ago, to start my day off with an indulgent afternoon tea and a glass of bubbly, celebrating something . I can’t remember what I was celebrating (clearly something very important) but I do remember the afternoon tea. The cakes in this place are amazing but my favourite is their coffee walnut cake, it’s to die for. Also, I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t mention the crockery: it’s super cute! Probably the cutest I’ve ever seen. Fact.


Cinderbox Coffee, Chester

Cinderbox Coffee
I ventured here by almost accident one day (it’s parked right next door to the Goat) and it was love at first sight. Perhaps first with their Danish pastries smothered in custard and their delicious coffee, but it soon became a very serious relationship of feelings and stuff. I love the relaxed decor and the comfortable seats and the free Wi-Fi and yeah, pretty much everything about the place. It’s got a really nice vibe about it. They also do some pretty tasty paninis if you need a more substantial lunchtime much than pastries, pies or cakes.


Lodge Cafe, Chester

The GIFT Cafe
If I told you it was possible to have a cake and a coffee for less than a fiver in the central of Chester, in the gorgeous Grosvenor Park, you’d already be on your way, right? Right. The portions aren’t shy and the drinks aren’t either. And, I have it on good authority that in this cafe they also whisk up a very hefty full fry up for the mornings when you’re feeling like nothing else is going to make you right. Besides, don’t get me started on the surroundings! On a sunny day there’s a few better places to enjoy your cuppa and cake than on the patio of this little gem.


What’s your favourite place for a cuppa in Chester? Let me know in the comments!