I've been lucky enough to live in Amersham for over 4 years now and my husband and I love visiting the High Street of Old Amersham, filled with luxury boutiques and independent coffee shops. In the Summer, there's nothing we like better than to grab a coffee and a treat to go and sit in the Memorial Gardens in the sun, listening to the live music often played every week during the summer. While, in Winter, hunkering down in the warmth of the coffee houses, watching the world go by and the rain lashing down, is thrilling.
So, I've decided to give you my guide to the top 3 independent coffee shops and cafes found in Old Amersham high street. In no particular order, these are the places I choose to settle down in, with my notebook and pen, and enjoy a perfectly made cup of coffee!
The Luxury Italian: The Grocer @ 15
The Grocer @ 15 is relatively new, compared to it's older sibling, The Grocer @ 91, further along the high street. We frequent 15, more so than19, but it's good to know that if there is no space at one, there's always another chance to sample their delicious menu!
Both Grocers are decorated in a rustic, industrial way with painted brick, dark wood, metal furniture and old fashioned light bulbs. Everything's served on wooden blocks, of all different shapes and you're always greeted with a friendly, Italian smile.
The menu is a perfect blend of Italian and English, with toasted bagels topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese, toasted focaccia stuffed to the brim with tomato, mozzarella and pesto and salads full of roasted chicken and aubergines.
Their selection of cakes is something dreams are made of. They're all hand made by local bakers and are seriously good! From the Chocolate and Guiness cake (chocolate cake will never be the same again), to their Sticky Toffee cake (which took me 3 sittings to eat!), to gluten free options like the Orange and Almond cake and the yummy, almost healthy feeling, Pistachio and Olive Oil cake, there's definitely something for everyone! They also serve pastries and cookies, including their, now famous, Pastel de Nata - a Portuguese custard tart in flakey pastry. In the Summer, they even import real Italian Gelato all the way from Naples in the most Italian of flavours!
On to the coffee. Being Italian, it's bound to be good and doesn't disappoint. Strong, rich and flavourful, its incredibly drinkable. Without being bitter, it's full-bodied and usually topped with some pretty impressive 'latte art' too!
Recommended: Grab a cappuccino or an iced coffee in the summer and enjoy a Breakfast Bagel - toasted and topped with avocado and chorizo with tomato chutney. Yum!
The Grocer have just opened another cafe in Gerard's Cross!
The Fresh, Modern Cafe: Seasons
Seasons has been the main-stay of Old Amersham High Street since I've lived here and it's so nice to be able to pop down the road and enjoy a friendly welcome along with your Sunday brunch.
With a recent re-fresh, Season's is now cool grey and pink inside and out, with traditional, wooden furniture, bench seats and a cosy snug at the back of the building which hides a few more tables! There's a bar to sit at, so you can watch your coffee being lovingly prepared, too! Season's is the perfect blend of modern and traditional; It feels bright and airy when you walk in and the staff are always happy to help!
The menu is classic British, with a modern twist, as Season's caters for gluten free and has some pretty yummy healthy brunch options, too! They have a great range of smoothies and milkshakes as well as a counter full of fresh salads and treats. Their Carrot and Orange Cake is widely well known and is always a favourite! While you can get the traditional English Breakfast or sandwich, it's definitely worth trying out the brunch options, like Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs or the American Pancakes with a choice of toppings.
The coffee is smooth and creamy, not too bitter, but with just enough 'punch' to wake you up on a cold weekend morning!
Recommended: The Halloumi Stack is a tower of cheese, eggs and tomatoes on bread, which is bound to leave you wanting seconds! Also, try the iced coffee in summer - a sweet, thick, milkshake-like ice cold coffee. It really does the trick on those hot summer days!
The New Kid on the Block: Twelve Twenty
Twelve Twenty hasn't been open long and is attached to Papers Newsagents on Old Amersham Broadway. To be honest, I've only been here a couple of times because its always so busy when I walk past, there's no room to fit me in! It's clearly making waves in the old town, being possibly the tiniest, cosiest cafe around, I love the intimate setting!
Twelve Twenty is all about rustic charm, with wood and brick everywhere. I particularly love the old 'Newsagents' sign which hangs prominently on the the bare brick wall.
The standard menu is small, but perfectly formed, with additional specials and home-made daily dishes that are always changing. With a fridge full of handmade bagels and sandwiches, treats for the kids and an English/American style brunch menu, filled with things like Eggs Royale and American Waffles, you can't really go wrong!
Don't miss the locally made handmade cakes, including gluten free offerings; what a great partnership to have made! Twelve Twenty also boasts some uniquely blended teas, make specifically for them!
Their coffee is smooth, subtle and huge! Going for a large drink, you definitely get your money's worth!
Recommended: The eggs florentine is so yummy, with perfectly runny eggs and a gorgeous hollandaise sauce! I'm definitely going back for more!
I hope you'll make the time to visit one of these cafes soon and, by no means is this a comprehensive list - there are places -a- plenty to get your coffee and cake fix in Old Amersham! I'm making myself hungry, so I might see you there!