Feedback On My 30 Cafes In 30 Days Challenge

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Well I’ve finished my first retirement challenge, Visiting a Different Cafe Every Day for 30 Days and it worked out well.  When I first thought of this ‘challenge’ I was mostly having a laugh with myself, it’s hardly a challenge to go to cafes and lots of people commented “can I join in”, “that’s my kind of challenge” etc. but it turns out that as the days ticked by an element of challenge did gradually emerge.  It started to be more of a struggle to find a new cafe to go to, I found the need to find a new cafe constrained my plans for the day, I missed going to some of my old favourites.  Overall though it proved to be a good first challenge, it was fairly easy, it prevented me from getting into a retirement rut, it pushed me gently outside of my comfort zone.  There were a few highlights and lessons learned worth mentioning:

  1. My favourite cafe by far remains Caffe Nero, the best atmosphere, top quality food, the comfiest chairs, the best environment for reading and consistently high quality all over the country.  It’s hard to choose between so many great Caffe Neros but how can I not choose my local, just down the street in St Annes.
  2. I really love sitting in window seats and sought them out wherever I went, I found them more than 50% of the time and when I didn’t, I missed them
  3. I re-discovered the joy of good toast (it’s cheap) and was amazed at how variable the quality of such a simple food can be.  The best toast by far was from Berties in Lytham, I went back for seconds and I’m looking forward to going back again once I’ve finished my current whole food from the garden challenge.
  4. The best quality breakfast overall was from Lytham Kitchen
  5. The best bacon and eggs was from Cafe Cove in Cleveleys
  6. The new Costa in Lytham has the air-conditioning set far too high, Paul and I were freezing
  7. I feel most relaxed in the Filey Country Park Cafe, it’s very cosy and friendly and full of locals
  8. I really like The Cloud, free Wi-Fi
  9. Expensive, trendy, cafes often have good food (not always) but provide the worst experience overall, because they are cramped and noisy
  10. I really like being surrounded by natural light and background noise, so much so that one of my favourite experiences was Esquires Cafe right in the centre of the Brunswick shopping centre in Scarborough, all the shoppers chattering resulted in something close to ‘white noise’ and the Wi-Fi was really fast and there was superb lighting, with no reflections, from huge skylights
  11. Supermarket cafes can be really good, I tried Booths in Lytham and Sainsbury’s in Blackpool, both were excellent
  12. Going to one and often two cafes a day, gets expensive, hence the focus on toast!
  13. Early morning is definitely the best time to visit, I like to be first in, to get the best seat

Here are the thirty tweets from each visit, in reverse order:

  1. The Mews Tea Room in Lytham was number 30 in my 30 days, 30 cafes challenge. A nice place for an end of walk rest stop with Paul
  2. Popped into Vincent’s Cafe in Cleveleys number 29 out of 30 on my ‘challenge’. A perfect traditional seaside place
  3. Found myself a nice little corner at Caffe Nero Southport, cafe 28 in my 30 day challenge
  4. After a week away it’s great to be back at Caffe Nero in St Annes number 27 in my 30 day cafe challenge. This is my beloved corner where I wile away many an early morning watching the town wake up & drinking an iced Coke
  5. Esquires in Scarborough cafe number 26 only 4 days & 4 cafes left for this challenge.
  6. Cafe 25 of my 30 day challenge is The Coffee Cup in the centre of Filey really great decoration
  7. Cafe 24 of my challenge is the St Nicholas Cafe precariously perched on Scarborough cliff top doubled in size since my last visit
  8. Filey Country Park Cafe number 23 on my 30 day challenge. I love this place!
  9. Arrived in Bridlington popped into cafe number 22 of my 30 day challenge ‘The Dolphin’, free Wi-Fi friendly & cheap – what more could I ask for
  10. Cafe 21 in my 30 day challenge the Clock House in St Anne’s very quaint & better value than its big brother the Beach Terrace Cafe
  11. Cafe 20 in my 30 day challenge Bakes & Cakes in St Anne’s. Sitting outside for a change
  12. For Cafe number 19 in my challenge I tried out the new Costa in Lytham  with Paul – someone’s got to do it – very nice, although a bit cold
  13. Topped and Tailed today’s walk around Buttermere at Croft House Farm Cafe 18th in my 30 day challenge
  14. Number 17 in my 30 day challenge is Fairhaven Lake Cafe where they always struggle with me ordering just plain, ‘simple’ bacon & eggs for some reason
  15. Blackpool Central Library Cafe is the 16th destination for my 30 day challenge, free magazines, comfy seats, low prices, great art-work and quiet — top spot!
  16. Doing the long route at Rivington rewarded by a bacon barm at the Great House Barn cafe number 15 in my 30 day challenge
  17. Sheltering from the rain at Booths Cafe in Lytham & bagging the 14th cafe in my 30 day challenge
  18. At Cafe Cove for day 13 of the 30 cafes in 30 days challenge hard to beat the view!
  19. Caffe Nero Wheelergate Nottingham had the ‘honour’ of being cafe 12 in the 30 days 30 cafes challenge. Of course I snagged the window seat 🙂
  20. Caffe Nero Blackpool on day 11 of the 30 cafes in 30 days challenge
  21. Day 10 of the 30 days 30 cafes challenge down by the Ribble walking with @scoffer12 at the Pavilion cafe basic but good quality
  22. View from the Deckhouse Cafe on day 9 of the 30 days 30 cafes challenge
  23. Day 8 of the 30 day 30 cafes challenge was at the fantastic Bownes Kitchen Cafe, also known as #4 – perfect place for Lakeland brunch
  24. View from the Water’s Edge cafe where I’m enjoying my 7th cafe in my 30 day challenge with Anna
  25. Caffe Nero Lytham provides a great start to day 6 of the 30 day cafe challenge
  26. Rewarding myself after a trip to the tip at Bertie’s Cafe in Lytham day 5 of the 30 day challenge
  27. Brockholes Cafe an excellent place for day 4 in the 30 day challenge
  28. Beach Terrace Cafe 3rd cafe in the 30 day challenge second cafe of the day though after Caffe Nero Lytham
  29. Cafe Chicco at the Solaris centre 2nd cafe in the 30 day challenge after a good catch up with John at Caffe Nero
  30. Lytham Kitchen with @scoffer12 — 1st cafe in the 30 day challenge

It’s probably worth noting that some of the cafes on this list had many repeat visits and other’s didn’t get a mention because they were the second or third cafe of the day.  All told I probably visited 60 cafes in the 30 days, but only 32 unique ones, of which only 30 made the list.

The picture I chose for this post was from Swell Cafe at Robin Hood’s Bay.  It’s very busy and expensive, but has fabulous views from it’s terrace.  Ironically it was my third cafe of the day, so it didn’t make it onto my list, but it made it into this post because it has a superb entry on google maps that allows you to go on a virtual tour of the inside and outside, really impressive.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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