05 Sep Favourite Coffee Spots in Canterbury
Like a lot of people, coffee is one of my biggest loves (and vices) in life. I pretty much love everything about coffee culture: sitting with my laptop in a coffee shop amongst other hard workers (and not caring whether people think it’s pretentious or not), how all coffee lovers are usually fast-paced and know their order to perfection. I love the smell of coffee, and the fact that there is an endless selection of it – from Frappuccino to Americano, from Mocha to Espresso, and all of the different and delicious roasts that come from all over the world.
Ironically, I’m drinking herbal tea whilst I’m writing this blog post, but that’s only because I’ve already had two coffees this morning and I’m trying to cut down by filling myself with tea.
One of my favourite cities to get coffee in (after London and Venice) is probably Canterbury. I associate Canterbury with sentimental memories of University and becoming more independent, so maybe that’s why I enjoy being here so much. There’s definitely no shortage of places to get coffee here, but I’m going to share with you my favourite three.
Admittedly I found this coffee shop after I left University, which I’m so gutted about, but I’m trying to make up for lost time! I had heard about this place before, as people on my course would talk about the evening events that they would host occasionally. It’s definitely a coffee shop popular with students.
It’s situated away from the bustle of the high street, and tucked down a lane on the edge of the river Stour. I love coming here and getting a window seat so I can gaze out of the window and admire the cute little river, and the occasional punting boat that goes by. It’s such a peaceful spot to come for a read or do some work. Alike to many places that sell really great quality coffee, the sizes are quite small – quality over quantity though (although sometimes I’m just in the mood for a huge bucket of coffee).
The first time I came here I sat by the window and browsed the huge and interesting books that they have stacked up on the tables; if I’d had sat down on the cosy looking sofas I would have stayed all day!
Recommendation: Soy Cappuccino
I found this coffee shop in my first year of University and it’s got to be one of my favourite ever places to get coffee. All of the best places are usually tucked away in a secluded area like this once (hence, ‘secret’ kitchen).
As far as I know there isn’t much (if any) vegan meals, but they definitely serve soya milk for coffees and I saw on their Facebook group that they offer vegan and gluten free friendly cakes. If you eat meat there are really good options for lunch and I heard that the toasties they sell are best in Canterbury – it’s also vegetarian friendly. Although Willows is one of the smallest coffee shops I have ever been in it doesn’t put me off at all as I have never struggled to find seating. There are a couple of nice seats at the window so you can gaze outside whilst drinking your coffee, and there are two tables in the middle. I usually visit quite early in the morning so I’d advise you to do the same; it’s a great coffee shop so I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets busy during lunch (I would assume it’s mainly people getting takeaway food and coffee though).
There is an array of magazines and books to browse so it’s no problem if you haven’t got any reading material with you. The staff and owners are super friendly, and it has a really welcoming, cosy vibe. This is the definition of a hidden gem!
Recommendation: Flat White (try it without sugar, don’t ruin it!)
Perhaps a boring choice for some, but I absolutely love Pret. I love how they care about the environment unlike a lot of other coffee chains, and I also love how they tend to give free coffees to regulars unexpectedly (who wouldn’t?!). I don’t just appreciate their policies; they also do the best coconut latte I have ever had – mmm. Their prices aren’t steep and I’ve never visited a Pret that had an atmosphere that I didn’t like. The burgundy tones and usual warm lighting always puts me in a nice calming mood.
The Pret in Canterbury is particularly cosy because of its wooden and rustic interior, it’s like a little Tudor house made into a coffee shop. I love getting a seat downstairs and watching people pass by in the high street.
Recommendation: Coconut Latte
P.S Here’s a post that features another coffee place in London that I recommend.
And here’s a post that features a cute coffee place in a beautiful garden centre.