Society Café is in such a fabulous central location, so often reserved for tourist traps in beautiful cities like Bath, that it might be mistakenly overlooked by the indie coffee shop hunter.
At it turns out, Society is a proper indie speciality coffee hangout, with oodles of interesting nooks and crannies and excellent coffee. As I’m lucky enough to visit Bath regularly, I often pay it a visit.
It starts on the spacious ground floor, with a welcomingly large bar atopped by locally roasted coffee beans, fresh tray bakes and a sexy baby blue La Marzocco coffee machine. There are plenty of seats, including some outside.
Less obvious but worth the minor effort of a small flight of stairs is the basement, complete with projector, shady booth bathed in low light and yet more seats.
Throughout, OSB board furniture prompts the question – ‘could I make something this nice with £15 and half an hour in Wickes?’ (to which the answer is: ‘no’). Bicycles and books about Berlin complete the eclectic but somehow harmonious look-and-feel.
The coffee, made with beans from local Bath roaster Round Hill Roastery, is always really really good. There’s food available too – also with a local twist.
Society opened in 2012 when serial travellers and hospitality / catering / hotel gurus Adrian and Jane Campbell-Howard relocated to Bath (I would say ‘settled’ in Bath, but this couple display an envious wanderlust and always seem to be on the move).
In 2014, a second (much smaller) site opened at 19 High Street (the end of The Corridor, not on the map below). I’ve been there a few times too – the coffee’s terrific.
Adrian boldly (stupidly?) boasts about Society doing things “much better than everyone else”. It doesn’t, but it’s still an excellent choice for tourists, locals and visiting coffee fans alike. Doubtless one of the best speciality coffee stops in Bath.
We visited on 18 August 2015.