September 21st, 2015
We love, love, love the Vintage Coffee Shop which overlooks the harbour in St Ives. It serves great coffee in a totally unique environment and the view out of the window is like an ever-changing painting; even on a bad day the view is incredible and, let’s face it, where else would you rather be on a dramatic day in Cornwall than sitting cosied up in a coffee shop that feels like it would have existed in the 1940s.
They ony play vinyl… not a digital download in sight! No one particular era dominates and if you fancy browsing through their collection you can put on whatever you want to listen to – from Ben Howard to the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. Where else can you do that? Just watch that your coffee doesn’t get forgotten about in a bid to find the perfect piece of music to listen to (we are the voice of experience!).
The St Ives Bakery on the Digey is one of the best bakeries in town and owns the Vintage Coffee Shop consequently they supply all the cakes and will adjust things on the basis of customer feedback (a really good reason to hit up the bakery too if you’re wandering round St Ives in search of a snack). They serve Origin Coffee which is roasted in Helston and Tregothonan Tea which is based just outside of Truro.
This year they’ve also started doing sandwiches, toasties and salads which is going really well so they’re hoping that next year they’ll start doing breakfasts – not cooked, just lovely, homemade granolas and scrummy stuff like that.
Not only do they sell vintage products but they sell vintage themed products; it’s a proper feast for the eyes and like stepping back in time. The light boxes are all handmade, they have vintage milk bottles and sell a lot of the Falcon camping gear.
The furniture is original Ercol which dates back to the 1940s; big department stores are reproducing this now but theirs is the real deal: You can also buy anything you like in there – if you like the chair you’re sitting on or the cushion behind you just ask the price, same goes for all the paintings and knick knacks.
There are only 8 tables so everyone shares and that’s great as everyone ends up chatting – tourists, locals, whoever happens to be there; it’s a real melting pot. Afton, the manager, loves the crowd that she gets there:
“Lots of locals, lots of tourists – some that come back year on year with their dogs – it’s very dog friendly, we love dogs here! There’s a great, young community in St Ives as less and less people are leaving at the end of the summer; they hang out here a lot, the guys that work at the Hub, the Balcony, the Academy and the Rum ‘n Crab Shack to name a few.”
Our guests at Cohort hang out here too… they told us that they never would have believed that the space could look so cool and that it was the easiest place in the world to just sit for hours, reading books, listening to music and drinking tea.
The Vintage Coffee Shop is open 9.30 – 5pm every day.
Last time we went in we had a scone with cream, a flapjack, a flat white and a mint tea for under £10 and we never once felt rushed or that we had to leave.
They are about a 5 minute walk from Cohort.
Cafe Art in the Drill Hall (almost next door to Cohort)
Yellow Canary on Fore Street
Cornish Deli on Chapel Street
Digey Food Room on the Digey