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Review: Applaud Coffee, Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 19:30 12 February 2019

Roast tomato and pepper soup

Roast tomato and pepper soup

Archant

Nicola Warren has lunch with friends at the award-winning coffee shop

White bean smash with fried aubergine and tahini dressing on trencher toastWhite bean smash with fried aubergine and tahini dressing on trencher toast

Food

On a wet and wintry Monday lunchtime, my friends and I took refuge in Applaud Coffee.

One of the many independent businesses in The Saints in Ipswich, the award-winning coffee shop offers barista coffee, breakfast and lunch.

Ham, cheddar and tomato toastieHam, cheddar and tomato toastie

On our break from work, we walked past the tempting cakes on the counter, found space on the sharing table at the back of the café, and took a look at the lunch menu on the blackboards.

I don’t eat meat, so it was refreshing to find that four out of the five lunch options were vegetarian. A note on the menu said vegan and gluten-free options were available too.

Our hands still cold from the walk from our offices, we all went for a warm option.

Charlotte was determined to be healthy, so settled on the roast tomato and pepper soup with basil and bread and butter.

Cinnamon rollCinnamon roll

Lisa chose the cheddar and tomato granary toastie, choosing the optional extra of ham too.

And I picked the white bean smash with fried aubergine and tahini dressing on trencher toast.

Our drinks, which I’d ordered at the till at the same time as the food, soon came.

Sparkling elderflower for me, Diet Coke for Lisa and decaf skinny latte for Charlotte.

Cherry and coconut flapjackCherry and coconut flapjack

Charlotte declared that her latte had a “good crema”. “Do you mean foam?” I asked. She did, but crema is what coffee aficionados call it apparently (I’m a tea drinker I’m afraid).

She also said it was creamy, smooth and not at all bitter. The coffee had a caramel undertone and was served at the right temperature. “They really know their coffee here,” she added.

It wasn’t long before our lunch was brought to our table. Everything was well presented.

My toast was topped with a thick layer of the smashed beans, some thin slices of fried aubergine and a generous drizzling of the sesame seed paste.

Carrot cakeCarrot cake

It was tasty and had a hint of garlic in the beans, although I would happily have a bit more garlic! I did add some black pepper after trying the dish, which complemented it well.

Lisa enjoyed her toastie, although she thought a little bit of salad garnish on her plate wouldn’t go amiss.

Charlotte’s soup came topped with a swirl of oil and a few baby basil leaves. She said it was savoury but a little sweet with a good amount of black pepper. She would have preferred the bread not to have been toasted so she could have soaked up the juices better.

We just couldn’t leave without trying the delicious looking homemade cakes.

It took us a little while to decide! Eventually we chose the cherry and coconut flapjack (me), carrot cake (Lisa) and cinnamon roll (Charlotte).

We didn’t order any more drinks, but I did help myself to some tap water – there are bottles and glasses on the fireplace in one of the seating areas.

When they were brought over, the cakes looked so tempting we all had to have a try of each one!

My flapjack was nice and sweet but not too syrupy with a good amount of desiccated coconut and plump glace cherries.

The carrot cake was nicely spiced, nutty and with a lovely background flavour of fresh orange. The cream cheese icing complemented it well.

Charlotte said her pastry was a “flaky, cinnamon delight” laden with butter and sugary icing. Just the thing to dunk into her coffee on a cold day.

We’ve already planned to come back – as well as breakfasts and lunches, the café serves afternoon teas. We just can’t resist trying more of those cakes.

Drinks

Hot drinks include a whole range of barista coffees, as well as teas and hot chocolate. There are also cold soft drinks in glass bottles as well as milkshakes.

Service

Friendly and helpful. Drinks are brought to your table as well as the food.

Price

Three drinks, three lunches and three cakes cost £34, so just over £11 each.

Location and parking

Applaud is situated on St Peter’s Street, in the Saints area of the town. There are three car parks nearby, at Cromwell Square, St Peter’s Dock and Cardinal Park.

Ambience

Warm and welcoming, this place is always busy whenever I visit yet I always manage to get a table. Fellow customers are always happy to sit together on the sharing table at the back of the coffee shop. It’s set in an old building, decorated sympathetically, and there’s always interesting artwork on the walls. In the summer, you can sit in the pretty garden.

Summary

Out of the ordinary tasty lunches and cakes with coffee to please any aficionado.

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