22 March 2023

The Caffeine Chronicles: Batch Baby

While wandering home from Stoke Newington recently, I made a pit stop at Batch Baby, a unique and welcoming coffee shop in Haggerston that puts filter coffee — including batch brew, of course — front and centre.

20 February 2023

The Birmingham Caffeine Chronicles: Quarter Horse, Jewellery Quarter

“Oh, that’s where we got our wedding rings,” my mum said when I told her which Birmingham neighbourhood I’d visited on Saturday. That made a lot of sense given that it was the Jewellery Quarter but these days you’re as likely to find coffee rings as wedding rings — especially if you drop into Quarter Horse’s new espresso bar.

13 February 2023

The Caffeine Chronicles: Nagare Coffee

Sometimes a new speciality coffee shop opens that just has it all: warm hospitality, beautiful design, a relaxed atmosphere and, of course, excellent coffee. Nagare Coffee, which opened in Spitalfields at the end of January, lives up to all of these, and both of my visits so far have been a pleasure.

1 January 2023

My Top 5 Books of 2022

Today, I am sharing my five favourite books from among those I read during 2022. I ended up reading fewer than 100 books in both 2020 and 2021 and to hold myself accountable, at the start of 2022 I started blogging every other month about my favourite books. I tailed off towards the end of the year due to a hectic travel schedule and getting stuck for a while on a few books I wasn't enjoying, but I still achieved my target and read 102 books in 2022. Read on to find out which ones made my shortlist, as well as my full reading list for the year.

30 December 2022

Five Travel Stories from 2022

As COVID restrictions slowly began to ease around the world, I was grateful to be able to travel more often in 2022 than I had in the previous two years, although I'm still not back at beforetimes levels. This year, I visited six countries across four continents, including four new-to-me countries — Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia and Greece — as well as a long-awaited return to my beloved New York City. Closer to home, I enjoyed a great city break in Bristol and spent far too much time watching Wolves fail to score, consoling myself with speciality coffee stops in Wolverhampton and Brum.

Keep on reading to find out the five stories I've picked out to sum up my travel highlights of the year (you can also check out my 2021 and 2020 editions).

28 December 2022

Bex's Coffee and Food Awards: 2022 Edition

As 2022 draws to a close, it's time for the 12th edition of my annual speciality coffee and food awards, where I share my favourite coffee shops and eateries from among all of those that I visited for the first time this year. Over the past few years, I've tweaked the geographical boundaries of some awards to reflect my travel schedule, which has changed somewhat as a result of COVID.

8 December 2022

The Caffeine Chronicles: Old Spike, Elephant & Castle

I've been spending more time in and around Elephant & Castle since I moved house earlier this year and although there are plenty of great eateries in the area, there aren't a lot of speciality coffee options. So, I was pleased to come across a new location of Old Spike — the Peckham-based coffee shop and roastery — mere steps from Elephant & Castle Tube on one of my lunchtime walks.