Yorkshire and The Humber

Crema Espresso Bar, Bridlington

29 April 2014

Bridlington: home of fish’n’chips, fairground rides and faded-glory staycations. Poke my eye out with a fish fork if there isn’t a fabulous, modern speciality coffee shop in its midst.

Crema Espresso Bridlington (6) Crema Espresso Bridlington (2)

When readers and friends suggested we visit a speciality coffee shop in Bridlington, I couldn’t quite believe it. Lovely as this Yorkshire coastal resort is, it’s a long way from Soho. But I can confirm that artisan coffee has made its way to this part of the world, and it’s to be found at Crema Espresso, a terrific place run by an up-and-coming barista, the excellently-named Oakley Wheelwright.

Crema Espresso Bridlington (11)

Crema Espresso Bridlington (3)

Oakley is running his own coffee shop at just 22, and doing a sterling job. Scottish by birth, he moved south with his parents at age 10, and was home educated.

His parents own the building. After running a vegetarian café for a few years, they changed tack to start up ‘Little Organic Bakery‘. They share the building with Crema Espresso. We love artisan baking nearly as much as we love artisan coffee, but sadly the Wheelrwrights were having a day off when we visited (fair play – it was a Sunday).

Crema Espresso Bridlington (13)

Crema Espresso Bridlington (15)

After working in coffee for a few years, Oakley opened Crema Espresso in November 2011. Some businesses in Bridlington are struggling, Oakley tells us, but Crema Espresso has gone from strength to strength.

Already, Oakley is award-winning. In 2013 he scooped an ‘outstanding’ 5-cup award, plus best latte in the UK, from the Beverage Standards Association.

Crema Espresso Bridlington (1)

We were delighted to see that there was no dumbing-down of the coffee, as often happens when a speciality coffee shop opens in a touristy backwater (sorry Brid, I love you really). Thankfully, Oakley has stuck to his guns – and they are impressive guns, Mrs Cosy tells me. I don’t know what she means.

That’s not to say it’s pretentious. Quite the opposite. Crema is down-to-earth, friendly, and in some ways – the decor, the building, the back-lit Hovis sign – quite traditional.

Crema Espresso Bridlington (7)

Crema Espresso Bridlington (12)

Our coffees were excellent. I had a flat white, well presented and delicious. Beans come from the likes of Square Mile and Workshop (top quality London-based roasteries), the brilliant newcomer North Star in Leeds, and New Town Coffee in Edinburgh.

Oakley is also a big fan of tea. He suggested Genmaicha from Canton Tea Co, which we watched brew on our table as a counter ticked down to zero, signalling the perfect immersion time. It had surprising and delightful roasted popcorn notes – another reminder for me that I really should drink more tea. I am an honourary Yorkshireman, after all.

Crema Espresso Bridlington (10)

Crema Espresso Bridlington (14)

There’s no shortage of space. The back room is a little less coffee shop, a bit more tea room, but it leads to a sunny (sometimes) outdoor terrace.

There are a range of snacks on offer – I presume even more so when the adjacent bakery is open for business.

Crema Espresso Bridlington (5)

Crema Espresso Bridlington (9)

We were blown away by Crema Espresso and its friendly, talented owner. If speciality coffee this good can thrive in Bridlington, something has gone terribly right.

Crema Espresso Bridlington (4)

Crema Espresso Bridlington (8)

Definitely one for your next Yorkshire coffee shop crawl.

Tom


Address
12 Wellington Road
Bridlington
YO15 2BG
Twitter: @CremaBrid
Facebook: pages/Crema-espresso-bar/159124260838841

We visited on 16 February 2014.

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5 Comments

  • Reply Kenneth Cooper 29 April 2014 at 2:40 pm

    First of all may I say I enjoyed your article.

    But how southern parochial can you get, things do happen above the Watford (or am I being northern now).
    1. Lovely as this Yorkshire coastal resort is, it’s no Soho. Not everyone wants to be in Soho.
    2. Touristy backwater (sorry Brid, I love you really). Would you say that about Ramsgate.
    3. Beans come from the likes of Square Mile and Workshop – top quality London-based roasters, but no mention of the North Star beans from Leeds that is in one of your photos.

    Like I said I did in general enjoy the article.

    • Reply Cosy Coffee Shops 29 April 2014 at 3:06 pm

      Hi Kenneth, thanks for your comment – really appreciate the honest feedback. If it makes you feel any better, my wife and I are both born-and-bred northerners (well, I’m from North Norfolk – that just about counts…?) and we both live in York, just down the road from lovely Bridlington. The fact we didn’t mention our friends at the excellent Leeds-based North Star roastery is a genuine error which I’ll correct shortly. And you’re right that not everyone wants to be in Soho – you’ve misunderstood my point there; I was simply trying to highlight the fact that Brid is an atypical location for a top-quality speciality coffee shop (do you disagree?). Somehow we seem to have hit a north-south nerve which was entirely unintentional, but hopefully now it all reads a bit differently in light of the context. Thanks again, and really glad you enjoyed the article. Tom.

      • Reply Kenneth Cooper 30 April 2014 at 11:10 am

        Good afternoon Tom, thank you for your reply, interesting that you moved from darkest Norfolk and now live in York home of some excellent tea and coffee shops. I must admit that if I was asked to name a town/city with at least one good coffee shop Bridlington would not be the first place I would mention.
        Regards
        Kenneth

        • Reply Cosy Coffee Shops 30 April 2014 at 1:25 pm

          Thanks Kenneth. Yes, we love it in York – it’s a fabulous place. Thanks again for your comments. Tom

  • Reply Victoria 20 November 2014 at 1:54 pm

    I found this coffee shop by accident on a grey chilly day in the summer, stumbling over the threshold into an oasis of serious coffee (as soon as I saw the young man tending the huge chrome coffee apparatus I knew that everything was going to be fine), and even more serious cake: I ordered a piece of a summer fruit roulade, a pillowy envelopment of berries in cream and brioche and served in an absurdly generous portion – perfectly delicious. I keenly recommend!

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