Having heard the rumour of the opening of a new Bluebird Bakery cafe and bakery in Acomb, we watched the transformation of the old Bathstore shop with greedy anticipation during the summer months. After giving it a polite week or so after the grand opening for the manic queues to calm down (it’s fair to say that a lot of other people had been looking forward to it just as much as us), we headed along to see if it had been worth the wait.
First impressions – Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised, given that it used to be a bathroom showroom, but the cafe is much larger than we’d expected. Occupying a corner plot with a decent amount of space for outdoor and indoor seating, there’s no shortage of places to perch. Of course, you can just pop in for a loaf of bread or cake and coffee to take away, but they’ve created such a light and cosy space that you’ll probably want to stay a while – we certainly did. Watched over by pretty hanging plants, the long wooden tables encourage conversation and just one more hot cup of something for the road. Love to people watch? Grab a stool by the window. There’s plenty of space to manoeuvre buggies and wheelchairs, and the relaxed atmosphere means that it’s the sort of place you could take a tiring toddler or grumpy teenager without worrying about everyone being on their best behaviour (and don’t forget – everyone’s happier after a caramel slice anyway).
What’s on the menu – Bluebird Bakery is known for its serious real bread credentials, so there are plenty of bread-based treats on the menu. As well as savoury sandwiches, toasties and pastries, there’s an array of tempting sweet things on offer, including their signature Bluebird Bakery brownies. We visited at that strange time of day when it’s too early for lunch but too late for breakfast, so we decided to share some savoury pastries and salted caramel slices with a delicious cup of coffee on the side (for the grown-ups, obviously; there are soft drinks for kids). It all tasted as good as it looked, and the only problem was not having enough of an appetite left to try more of what was on offer. Perhaps that’s a good thing though, and the perfect excuse to return.
Good to know – Bluebird Bakery is so family-friendly that it even has a children’s corner complete with kids’ books and a little kitchen. It’s a really thoughtful touch that will hopefully allow parents to enjoy a coffee or tea while it’s still hot – a rare treat.
The verdict – Acomb, we’re jealous. Bluebird Bakery is everything we’d hoped for – a welcoming independent cafe with lovely things to eat and drink. We’ll be back.