Serviced Accommodation is GOOD for your health

As a frequent flyer you know it can be tough, quick meals between meetings, rubbish plane food and not to mention the fast food which seems to be the cheap and easy option. But how much is this putting yourself at risk? Staying in a serviced property can help reduce the risk.

Serviced property cooking

You are surrounded by a gym – just open the door

What is the point of a treadmill or bike that just sits inside a sweaty gym? OK, great for when it rains but with so many of our serviced properties located within some stunning scenic areas sometimes all you need to do is step outside.

Whether it is a brisk walk around Ocean Village Marina, Southampton or a run around Southsea Common there is the perfect spot for you.

Did you know we are located near some of the best places to get some exercise and fresh air:

  • New Forest
  • Hill Head beach
  • Southampton Common (great for jogging)
  • Southsea sea front
  • Port Solent Marina
  • The Isle Of Wight (a short ferry ride away)

Get a Discount on proper food

Scheduling time to eat properly during a hectic day is something we know can be a challenge. Eating right and healthy, and we don’t need anymore reminders, can contribute to well being. With many of our partners offering generous discounts with our exclusive guest card there has never been a better time to balance your day or reward yourself with something at the end of the day.

Get Healthy – Eat indoors

Breakfast is the best meal of the day. With our Breakfast packs we can make sure it is just that, starting your day the right way without the UHT milk.

If you are worried about your expanding waste line from grabbing easy and fast food during the day we offer a better option. Serviced accommodation provides everything to cook with. So whether it is knocking up a meal for one or more our fully equipped kitchens are a great place to cook, all you have to bring is you and not your kitchen sink (we have one of those).

Stress. None

Serviced properties are designed for the professional, for convenience and to relax. When you have completed your reports or letters at the office space provided it is time to chill on a deep sofa, relax on the balcony with a glass of something nice or catch up on Netflix with our fast and free WiFi.

What is more we take the hassle out of the return leg home with a washing machine and cleaning/ironing facilities in order for you to be ready of the day.

Kick the hotel into touch

Balance watching can be stressful. Tapping your bank app to check how much is left or having accounts on your back because the budget is spiralling out of control is enough in itself. It’s time to kick the hotel into touch and think about serviced accommodation. Pay per property and not per person; making the budget stretch more if there are a few of you bunking together or you are a family. This gives you more money to spend on either food, days out or just simply saving it for a rainy day.

Do Not Disturb. We won’t. Serviced accommodation is based on your space in your time. The aim is to give you a good night’s sleep and wake refreshed without any early knocks to the door or phone calls to your room

Content: Ben Glover

Serviced Accommodation Means Less Stress – 5 Reasons How

From that awkward and tedious wait at reception when checking in. To finding out your hotel room has no decent view, the bed is the size of a shoe box and the bar is closed. You just don’t need it. Serviced accommodation was created to reduce the stress out of your stay.

  1. No Queues

Our office is perfectly located in Oxford Street, Southampton, within the vicinity of our serviced properties. We are open from early until late. If you arrive past these hours we’ll leave your keys in our secure lock box attached to the office wall and email you allocation details. What’s more your welcome letter will contain all the information you need to make the most of your stay in our properties including how to claim your exclusive Discount Card to use in many leading restaurants, bars and spas in the area.

Enquire about our Portsmouth properties.

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A typical duplex property.

2. Space, space and space!

Space. We’ve got tonnes of it. From duplex apartments to town houses we can accommodate for your needs. Travelling on your own? No problem, with a vast selection of modern studio apartments available there is a space dedicated to you.

Each living space contains a FREEVIEW wide screen TV and comfy sofas, a work space with fast free Wifi. Our sleeping spaces contain decent storage, large double beds and luxury linen for a good nights sleep. There is a fully equipped cooking space for you to create something delicious for one or more, perfect for family stays!

Each property contains modern bathrooms so you can soak and unwind in a deep bath or power shower you way into the day if required. Washing machine and drying facilities in each property take the stress out of cleaning costs and we even supply the capsules on arrival.

Parking is available* at many of our properties which is secure and solely for your use.

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3. Work Budgets

Our sole aim is to save you money and many of our global business residents have benefited from sharing. By paying per property it makes economic sense to at least book a two bedroom apartment, share the cooking, compare business notes and work out a strategy for the day. It is a great place to relax, with many serviced properties benefiting from stunning marina views and a balcony. It pays to get with a colleague!

4. Going The Extra Mile On Arrival

We know that your day may not be 9am-5pm. That is why if you arrive late at night we can fill up your fridge in any of our serviced properties with various choices of food packs*. From breakfast to dinner we can do the shopping for you, there is nothing better than turning up to a full fridge.

What’s more if you need us we are always on call. Our dedicated office, housekeeping and maintenance team are on call 24 hours and being local can resolve any issues quickly.

Each bathroom/en-suite contains exclusive luxury wash gels and soft towels that can be replaced whenever you require. We work hard to look after our carbon foot print and so encourage guests to reuse towels/lined when they can.

5. Your space, your time

We work around your schedule. We won’t come banging on your door unless you want us too. We will notify you well in advance if routine maintenance is required giving you plenty of time to enjoy your serviced property.

With so much space to choose from serviced accommodation is perfect for short term housing needs, family visits or business. Whatever your needs we have the perfect place for you delivering the perfect inner or outer city space with good public transport routes and connections.

Late check outs are available.

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A typical double bed in our serviced properties.

For the latest availability across Southampton, Portsmouth and to keep up to date with our blogs click HERE

*Fee applies

Content Creator: Ben Glover
Glove Box Media

Things To Do This May

Wow! We are almost half way through the year and with summer nipping at our pale legs isn’t it about time we got out there to soak up some vitamin D? Check out some of the activities around your serviced accommodation this May.

Southampton City Live! @ Bandstand 

Saturday 13 May, 12 noon – 9pm, Palmerston Park, Southampton

Free entry

Championing music and arts in Southampton

Southampton City Live is a one day music and cultural event to be held in the heart of Southampton. With sponsors local radio station Voice FM it will be music to your ears (see what we did there). 

Featuring

  • Live bands
  • Trade stands
  • Entertainment
  • Community features
  • Food and Refreshments

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Port SolentSunday Waterside Market, Port Solent, Portsmouth

Sunday 14th MayCome and enjoy a saunter through stalls of beautiful home furnishings, stylish gifts, homemade crafts and stunning jewellery as well as delicious cakes and other yummy treats you’ll not want to miss.

The Waterside Markets are on the second Sunday of each month from 11am until 5pm.

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Common People, Southampton

Brought to you from the guys behind BESTIVAL the pre-season warm is back!
Taking place on the Bank Holiday weekend of 27th and 28th May and set on Southampton Common, Common People is a glorious two-day metropolitan festival, uniting all tribes under the Southampton sky, bringing the blithe spirit of Bestival right to the heart of the city.

Common People’s music line-up is a feast of the finest that the live music and DJ scenes have to offer, from legendary stalwarts of the festival scene and guaranteed crowd pleasers, to the most exciting new acts that are getting those in the know all hot under the collar, you can expect nothing less than the very best to bring together everyone in a party of unanimous joy. It’s not all about the music though as Southampton Common will be transformed into an enchanted wonderland of eye-popping attractions and fun-fuelled escapism.

NB. this is a non-camping event.

Gates open at 10:30 each day

Click HERE for full line up!

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Southampton Sailing Week

6 days of sailing and water activities in and around Southampton Waters and The Solent.

Join in for a celebration of Yacht Racing, Parade of Sail, Nip to the Nab and Regatta Party and more!

An action packed week to celebrate everything that is Sailing and Southampton!
First timers and experienced sailors welcome.
One of the World’s top locations for Sailing the Solent and Southampton Waters are home to World Famous races and Southampton Sailing week is here to celebrate all things Sailing and encourage more people to enjoy the water.
It’s a busy week full of activities on and off the water.
Click on the website link for up to date information of all the events and watch the Sailing Week promo film below.
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LIVE! At the Bandstand, Southsea Seafront
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Get set for a sizzling summer of FREE live music – with an array of styles and genres at the Bandstand.

Free live music every Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer between 1 and 4pm.

Free live music every weekend from 27 May – 13 August

Saturday 27 May
The Urban Vocal Group

Sunday 28 May
Kasai Masai + Los Hombres, with Emiliyah and the Mightyz All Starts with DJs Sahara Rock and Mo Funk

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Don’t Hate, Donate!, Portsmouth

Don't Hate, Donate

History: Union Castle, Southampton

Did you know many of our serviced houses and apartments are steeped in history? Each week check out a property you could be staying in.

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The Union-Castle Line was a British shipping line that operated a fleet of passenger and cargo vessels travelling between Europe and Africa from 1900 to 1977. It was formed from the merger of the Union Line and Castle Shipping Line.

The Union Line was founded in 1853 as the Southampton Steam Shipping Company to transport coal from South Wales to Southampton. It was renamed the Union Steam Collier Company and then the Union Steamship Company. In 1857, renamed the Union Line, it won a contract to carry mail to South Africa. It’s headquarters based in Southampton docks, opposite South Western house.

With it’s modernisation it is hard to make out any of the office space that once occupied this listed building. Our duplex serviced property bears few hallmarks of days gone by but if you look carefully to the exterior of evidence of Union Castle’s existence can be found in plaque form.

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Many of Union Castle’s vessels were named after fortresses around the world distinguished from their red funnels topped off in black. The line played a role in linking the Commonwealth countries, especially when it came to mail delivery. So much so the Royal Mail Line took over in 1911.

Today our spacious duplex property offers an airy and cosy feel to your stay. With a large double bedroom in the upper level you are surrounded in luxury and never too far away from other luxury serviced properties.

This For The Energetic Guest

We know that when you choose to stay with us not only do you get good quality and luxury in service but the best chance to feel refreshed and relaxed. We also know there are a few of you who want to use up that energy and make the most of the outdoors. Like this:

National Cycle Route – Southampton to Portsmouth

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If stunning coastline and incredible scenery is your thing then this is the route for you. Hop on a bike and follow the National Cycle route 2 between these two major Hampshire ports. The route starts on the Itchen bridge in Southampton following the Solent Way to Netley where you will find the lovely Royal Victoria Country Park overlooking Southampton Water and the historic Netley Abbey. From there you continue to Hamble-le-Rice where you can catch the ferry over the River Hamble to Warsash. The route then continues along the coast, passing the beautiful Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve, before joining the Gosport Ferry which will take you to the finish point near Portsmouth Harbour. On ya bike.

Get the OS route here.

If off-roading is more your thing you’ll need the Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Just off the A3 and 25 minutes drive from Portsmouth this is the mecca for the thrill seeker.

Blue Trail

The Blue mountain bike trail suitable for novice riders is currently 6km (3.7 miles) long. The trail is made up mainly off forest gravel roads, with 500 metres of single-track and one pretty long steep climb.

Red Trail

The Red mountain bike trail is 7.4km (4.6 miles) long with approx 1000ft ascent/descent. The trail is mostly made up of fast flowing singletrack with some sections being steep / loose, and also feature jumps (all roller-able).

Cycle shop and cafe is situated at the start of the route.

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Kayaking – New Forest

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Yes, it may be home to some of the UK’s most beautiful forests but the national park is full of waterways snaking their way in between. Kids and adults will get sized up for the correct vessel they choose as well as gain expert tuition before setting off.

Bring your own or hire on the day for the chance to see some exclusive scenery like the Beaulieu river, a rare opportunity in itself!

There are plenty of kayaking spots within reach of our serviced properties including the river Hamble, Lee-On-The-Solent and the Isle Of Wight.

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Horse Riding – Hampshire

Hampshire is well known for it’s 465 miles of outstanding bridleways. Not only that it is home to some of the best training schools for you to learn.

Select locations:

Manor Farm Country Park in Bursledon, which takes you along the picturesque riverside of the Hamble and through woodland areas. Contact reception for a permit on 01489 787 055.

Queen Elizabeth Country Park in East Hampshire has a six mile permissive riding trail which will take you through the forest before joining the South Downs National Park. No permit is needed.

Titchfield Haven in Fareham is a coastal park rich in wildlife which has a number of riding routes travelling through open farmland and woodland. Please contact the office for a permit on 01329 662145.

Alice Holt Forest provides an opportunity to canter through tranquil oak woodland. This is also by permit only, please ring 01420 520212.

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Geocaching 

Believe it or not this activity is far from new, so what is it? Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt that combines detective work with technology. By downloading the app (there are many to choose from) using GPS locate various ‘boxes’ or points where you can leave your name or exchange gifts left in selected boxes. With locations given off to the nearest meter you’ll get addicted to this family fun outing. And it is not just in the countryside, many cities have plenty of geocaching locations for you to explore.

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For more activities click Visit Hampshire

What Needs To Be On Your Playlist Right Now (April/May 2017)

With fast free WiFi in all serviced properties in our Town Or Country family are you making the most of your music player? Check out the tracks you need in your life right now (and not just that Ed Sheeran album):

 

The Fjords – ‘Alchemy’ (click for track)

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A-ha meets The xx. And yes, that is a compliment. This dainty Norwegian group have been under the radar and threatening to reveal itself for a few years now. But with a few UK gigs under their belt and some summer appearances planned this surely needs to be in your life after a hard day’s work.

Nilüfer Yanya – The Florist

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If hedonistic guitar is your bag 21-year-old Nilufer Yanya is for you. Her raw vocals give hint of an early Annie Lennox with a powerful backing that plays into your mind. As break up songs go this is pretty epic. Best played in the bath, with candles and a glass of Pino…

Zedd – Stay (feat. Alessia Cara)

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Producer Zedd smashes up the electronica and slows it right down for a delight that would be perfect for that summer romance. Backed up by the faultless vocals of Alessia Cara that beaut steps away from Zedd’s previous helpings. On the balcony at sun down? Turn this up then.

Liv Dawson – Searching

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Cast your mind back to when the 1990’s swept into the new millennium. Garage was massive. This takes you there. Liv’s airy vocals and harmonies divine the ear drums with pure happiness that will get you in the mood for the night ahead. It’ll sort your day out too. Small wonder she has been BBC Radio 1’s Tune Of The Weekend.

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Words: Ben Glover

Partly researched from NME

Easter: Hunting Out The Best Activities!

Easter

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, Winchester

This Easter, Cadbury is teaming up with the National Trust to offer families the ultimate day out, with their popular Eggsplorer Easter Egg Trails. Kids can unleash their inner explorer with adventurous trails taking place in some of the most amazing locations across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

What’s more, all Eggsplorers will receive a delicious Cadbury chocolaty treat at the end of each completed trail, and every single Cadbury Easter Egg Trail will help support special places looked after by the National Trust for future generations to explore.

Winchester City Mill hums with activity all year round, making it a great family experience. This Easter, pick up a map and join in the giant egg hunt around this 17th-century working corn mill; if you can solve the riddles you’ll receive a delicious Cadbury chocolate gift.

Normal admission plus £2 per hunt

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Thomas

A Day Out With Thomas! The Watercress Line, Alresford

Meet Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends here at the Watercress Line. Come and experience a ride on a real steam engine, shake hands with The Fat Controller and take part in Thomas themed activities in the Imagination Station. Make their day a Day Out With Thomas and book your tickets now!

The travel ticket includes all the above and so much more!

An entire day’s travel on the big steam trains that run up and down the whole line.
(These trains run approximately every 30-40 minutes from 9:35am to 4:30pm).A free Thomas sticker and Day Out With Thomas certificate.Unlimited rides behind Thomas in his carriages or in Toad the Brake VanUnlimited rides with Iron ‘Arry and a friend of Diesel’s – you can even get in the cab with the driver!

LOTS of FREE activities!

Thomas themed children’s entertainerRides on the Minature railwayBouncy Slide (age 3+)Tea Cup rideStory corner and daily story time’Thomas & Friends’ TransfersImagination Stations with Thomas playsets, colouring and DVD shows

See more of Thomas’ friends!

Meet a friend of Bulgy the Bus and George the Steam RollerSee a friend of Rocky the Breakdown Crane

Easy to find!

Just 7 miles from Winchester on the A31 – simply follow the yellow AA signs for Day Out With Thomas to the FREE parking at Ropley Station in the field!Or catch the regular South West Trains service to Alton from London Waterloo.Pay and display parking is also available at Alresford and Alton Stations.Full of facilities!FREE buggy park, picnic storage, baby feeding and nappy changing at Ropley Station.Toilets are available on all steam train services and at all stations.Baby changing facilities at Alresford, Ropley & Alton.Meals and snacks available from The West Country Buffet at Alresford station.Refreshments available from stands at Ropley station and onboard buffet carsPicnic areas overlooking Ropley and Alresford stationsDay Out With Thomas gift shops at Alresford, Ropley and Alton stations.

There’s so much to see and do we recommend arriving before lunch to ensure you fit everything in!

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Egg Hunting, Bird World.

Crack the clues set by the Easter Bunny on our special Easter trail and enjoy the opportunity to join in with some Easter-themed crafts.

Visitors will also have the chance to see the park’s very own Percy the Penguin who will be helping out throughout the day.

Open 10.00am until 6.00pm, last admissions are an hour before closing.

To book tickets, visit http://www.birdworld.co.uk or call 01420 22992.

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Easter Virtual Activities, Whiteley Shopping Complex

Gnomee’s Virtual Egg Hunt – throughout the holidays

Take a leap into augmented reality and help find the golden eggs that Gnomee and his friends are hiding. You can even be in with the chance of winning a host of amazing prizes. To play, simply download the ‘MyMall AR’ app and let the fun begin. We’ve got iPad minis, an Anki Overdrive and Hatchimals Eggs to name just a few of the fantastic prizes up for grabs – Gnomee has been very busy preparing for Easter this year!

Arts and Crafts Activities with Tiger – 13th, 14th, 15th April

Tiger will be in Town Square with Easter to host arts and crafts activities for your little ones. They will also have a very special Gnomee colouring in picture for you to try!

Longdown Mobile Farm – Mon 17th April, Market Square, 10am – 4pm.

The Longdown Mobile Farm will be here in Market Square for a hands on farm experience right on your doorstep! Children and adults alike will delight in meeting a range of farm animals such as piglets, calves, kid goats, chicks, ducklings, rabbits, guinea pigs, and Max the miniature donkey. All the farm animals are friendly, calm and sociable; and they always try to be on their very best behaviour!

Dreams Come True – Sat 15th and Mon 17th April

The charity Dreams Come True will be in Town Square Saturday 15th April and Monday 17th April. They will have some very special characters popping over, including George & Peppa Pig, Scooby Doo, Spongebob and Patrick! Your little ones can also have the opportunity to have their face painted on both days – bunny, butterfly or superhero, what will they choose?

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TOCA Supports: Trinity, Winchester

Town or Country is passionate about supporting charities, especially in the vicinity of our serviced properties. That is why we have decided to team up with homeless charity Trinity. Look out for ways we and you can support this very special organisation. 

Trinity is a non judgemental service and their aim to empower all the beneficiaries with the confidence, skills and willpower to change their lives for the good and on a long-term basis. Through careful monitoring of individuals’ progress throughout the year, they know that their Drop-in and Outreach Services can and do have dramatic positive effects on both individuals and the local community.

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Each year £500,000 is required to be raised in order to make a difference, relying on donations and fundraising from events, individuals, local community groups, local businesses, churches, and volunteers for their support. Many set up standing orders, hosted or taken part in an event on their behalf.

With homelessness now a major part of city life for some Trinity aims to turn that around and give the support needed to individuals who find themselves in this difficult situation. Here’s Eddie’s story:

Town Or Country is proud to support Trinity, keep an eye on our social media timelines for more info.

Ben Glover

Discount Card: The Docks Coffee

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Coffee has a secret

Few coffee shops can actually be based on the heritage on which they are created. I mean, the UK’s biggest coffee chain can’t claim that it’s owners met whilst travelling about the globe, far from it. Neither can the big coffee houses place enough passion into where their beans come from. Some might but with the ‘C’ word now a commercial necessity in this world it is important to know where it comes from.

 

Having travelled, lived and driven most of southern Europe I had certainly not tasted coffee other than this side of the water. When you stop off in Italy and witness how the Italians treat every sip like it is liquid gold there must be method to the madness. God knows, having been stuck in the heaving traffic of Rome it was a relief to pull into a service station to catch up on an espresso after driving more than 13 hours straight. Little did we know that the tiniest of glasses would house the richest of blends that locals would take a good hour to consume. I just simply downed it in one like it was a shot to be had on a stag do. No wonder we were getting daggers from preying eyes.

And you know what? I haven’t really tasted coffee like that. Until now. Sure coffee is coffee, tea is tea but have you noticed that if you really look into where that blend comes from or how it arrived and the passion behind it the taste is enriching. This is the experience I got when stepping into one of Southampton’s best kept secrets.

The Docks coffee house sits quietly in Oxford Street, Southampton, it’s shell a new reincarnation created with the love and passion of owner Dan and his partner. They both met whilst travelling in Vietnam and as time went on not only did they fall in love with each other but with the dream of one day owning their own cafe come coffee shop.

Docks Coffee 2Stepping inside this quaint little shop there is an instant hit of finely roasted coffee that sweeps its way among the stripped back wooden tables. It’s aroma tantalises the nostrils as you relax in their wing back chairs, perfect for a read. And I think this is the idea, with a selection of books to read and a giant map on the wall there is always something to effectively drink in with the eyes.

THE COFFEE

I had a Cortado (sadly not served in a glass but I was assured they were on order) that simply blows your caffeine senses into another world, or as I felt, a humble little coffee shop in Rome. Reasonably priced (£2.50) Cortados can leave an acidic after taste, dropped with a little milk in however smashes the edge of it for a pleasant sup.

So, where does it all come? Having well travelled owners it is small wonder the 11 types of blends on offer each have their own story to tell. In fact to make the grade all defective beans are removed from the mix creating truly great flavours aromas that will just take you away for a while, stepping out of the usual rat run of life and leaving you tasting what could be heaven.

A local based Roaster ensures that sourced beans are ethically traced and handled with this being the ethos of The Docks values. Everyone deserves to be acknowledged for our guilty pleasures right?

And if you thought that was something special just wait until you hear about the tea, again influenced by the footsteps of where Dan and his partner trod. When asked to describe what their tea is to them Dan feels taken back to ‘the beaches of Big Sur or the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal’. It doesn’t get more special that that.

THE FOOD

A tasty breakfast and lunch menu gives enough reason to go pretty much every day (recommending the scrambled egg and salmon) alongside a take away Roasted Chicken, Cheese & Sundried Tomato Panini  (£5.50). If dining in plenty to choose from the locally sourced and home made produce behind the counter and not to mention the freshly baked cakes sourced so locally. Your mum better watch out, she has competition.

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Freak-shake!

But we hear there may be a shake-gasmic delight in the form of a Freakshake. I mean, just savour it. An epicurean delight that no doubt be a summer favourite.

BOTTOM OF THE CUP

In essence this The Docks coffee shop is already causing a stir among the locals who have too many loyalty cards from the big chains bulging out of their wallets. They will go here for the love and passion put into every cup. And it is not finished their. Dan knows the heritage in which he has now become a part; Titanic talks, forthcoming murals on the walls and photos of well travelled guests are to be a part of the DNA. A social travellers hub, a place to swap stories and enjoy each other’s company, or your own. A place to gaze from the rawness of the breakfast bar and see Oxford street pass before your eyes.

Adapted from the Coffee Shop Investigator blog.

Words: Ben Glover

GUESTS WILL RECEIVE 10% PURCHASES WHEN ORDERING FROM THE DOCKS COFFEE WITH OUR EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT CARD

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