Another coffee shop I hear some of you cry!  However, as popping out for a coffee seems to be one of the nation’s favourite pastimes, we are lucky in Bedford to have a diverse range to choose from and thanks to the influx of Italian workers to the brickworks in Stewartby in the 1950s, you are pretty much guaranteed a great espresso!

Vanilla Tree on St Cuthbert’s Street bake their own Portuguese tarts (highly recommended) and just down the road is cosy Fay’s on Mill Street (Fay’s is also upstairs in Star Rowing club offering great views of the river). A great spot to enjoy the bustle of the Wednesday and Saturday market is La Piazza in St Paul’s Square.

Opposite the square is Made in Bedford Number 13, not only great for a coffee but serving fully plant -based food whilst showcasing Bedford’s creative enterprises. Also worth a visit in the town centre is the The Gallery who also have Companions baking bread in-store or Coffee with Art (on the High Street), not only for coffee and cake but also to enjoy the artwork.  Frescoes in Mill Street also has an art gallery upstairs.

The Higgins Pantry, adjacent to the museum, is great for a coffee and light bite, whether you’ve been shopping and need a break or are visiting the museum.  Just around the corner on the High Street is Cafe Crema – an authentic Italian cafe with great coffee, cakes, crepes and many savouries.

Longholme cafe

The Longholme Cafe and boating lake

If you’re walking the dog along the Embankment, grab a takeaway coffee from the Kiosk at the Park (Russell Park). Also along the river, offering  a picture perfect location is The Longholme, (and dog friendly) just across from the Butterfly Bridge, who also serve sumptuous brunches, lunches and cakes.

For an all day breakfast from local suppliers, why not head to the Pavilion at the Park (in Bedford Park). You can walk the extra rasher off with a brisk walk around the lake! Other great café stops whilst walking include the café at Priory Marina or if on a longer stroll Danish Camp.

In Castle Road you can stop at locals favourite Papillon and newly opened Vardo on Pembroke Street with their vegan offering.

If you want to head further afield, Ready Steady Roll offer fresh homemade cakes and whilst there, enjoy playing one of their hundreds of board games.  Also Boyds of Bedford have great coffee and snacks in their new home in Stagsden (I particularly enjoy Western Wednesdays, great to sing along to as I drink my flat white!)

Coffee Shop Directory here

Boyds of Bedford