East Midlands

Stray’s, Newark-on-Trent

3 January 2009

I wasn’t expecting to find anything quite as nice as Stray’s on my Newark detour. It’s a wonderful, relaxing place with excellent coffee.

Stray's Newark Stray's Newark

Stray’s is attached to Stray’s Books in the centre of Newark.  It’s spacious and has a couple of nice rooms branching off, such as a covered terrace area (a beer garden for coffee drinkers).

Stray's Newark Stray's Newark

I ordered and plonked myself down near the counter.  A lady wandered in after me and was told there would be a 15 minute wait for drinks.  She was amazed….. “15 minutes?!”  And off she trundled.  I sympathise, but this is a sure sign of a decent coffee shop; willing to turn away customers before compromising on coffee quality.

There’s mention of this in a leaflet by the counter, which also describes the beans used and the way the coffees are prepared.  Having randomly picked a seat with a view of the machine, I can vouch for the care taken by the baristas.

Stray's Newark Stray's Newark

When the coffee came, it was excellent. I’d picked a latte, which came topped with latte art (always a good sign).

Stray's Newark Stray's Newark

Everyone seemed very friendly and they were happy for me to take a few photos.  Quite rightly, the chap in charge (Mat Short) was too busy to pay me much attention (it was a very busy Saturday afternoon).

The upstairs is being renovated so as to accommodate live jazz (see here).  At the moment, the jazz is limited to a non-stop soundtrack through the speakers and photos on the walls, which I liked.

Stray's Newark Stray's Newark

There’s also a good selection of food, including cakes made on the premises, sandwiches from Stray’s sandwich shop next door, and, according to the website, “Mum’s cakes”.

But coffee is top of the menu. In fact, better than that, it has a menu of its own.

Stray's Newark

This is a relaxing, characterful and overall a really good coffee shop.

17 Boar Lane
NG24 1AJ

Website: http://www.strayscoffee.co.uk

We visited on 3 January 2009.

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  • Reply robbler 18 February 2010 at 8:39 pm

    I agree…
    This is a cracking little coffee shop in a thriving market town on the East Coast mainline. So not only do you get the natives through the door, but a fair number of well-dressed passers-by on their way to London. Good for people watching if that’s your cup of tea.
    The coffee is excellent and the food is generally good. I particularly like their mochas and lattes.
    Only negative is that it’s doing so well that there is now not enough tables to keep up with demand! Not that the owner will care much!

  • Reply Ron and Anne 24 August 2010 at 9:23 pm

    We have been using this coffee shop since its inception – having previously travelled to other distant places to get what we then considered good coffee. We travel no more and better still – we now know what good coffee really tastes like!!
    We get our daily top up here and even after all these years attention to detail and excellent customer service is second to none.
    Very,very Highly recommended.

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