It’s fair to say that there are few coffee shops that have been on our ‘must visit’ list for as long as Relish.
Relish opened in December 2006 – an age ago for a British ‘third wave’ coffee shop. Its stocks rose considerably when owner Hugo Hercod won the 2008 UK Barista Championships. Hugo then finished a respectable 10th in the World Barista Championships that year (won by Irishman Stephen Morrissey).
Tucked away in far-flung Cornwall (we live in York), we knew we would have to go the extra mile to reach Relish. It took a proper Cornwall holiday – something we’d been meaning to do for years. Finally, we reached Wadebridge, and found it basked in beautiful sunshine.
Relish is nestled in a snug little square, a tranquil spot for sitting outside. There’s plenty of space inside too, though it was far too hot for that.
Hugo was around and popped out for a quick chat. He tells us Relish has been a labour of love since day one (could it be any other way for an indie coffee shop owner?). After years of being owner, barista and basically do-er-of-everything (including winning the UKBCs – how did he fit it in?), Hugo is now able to take the occasional day off.
He’s still very hands on, and was desperate for our report on our flat whites, prepared by his newest padawan. We were delighted to report that he had done a fabulous job.
Relish tends to get its beans from local roastery Origin (read about our behind-the-scenes visit). We each had a couple of coffees as we relaxed in the courtyard – all were excellent.
All the coffees are espresso based (flat white, cappuccino, etc), with no alternative brew methods like Aeropress or v60. Hugo explains there just isn’t the demand for it in rural Cornwall. Fair enough.
Relish may not have the look of a cutting edge coffee shop, but it has everything a great café needs: fabulous (and award-winning) coffee, a passionate owner, friendly staff and a terrific atmosphere.
It was well worth the wait.
We visited on 18 July 2013.