‘Google doesn’t lie… Search for “best coffee in Birmingham”.’ So says the sign outside Coffee Time – Coffee bar & Creperia. How could I not try it?
I was so consumed by the mini cinnamon rolls and the moist carrot cake on display that when it was my time to order I was completely flummoxed. Scanning the savoury crepe menu I hurriedly chose a mushroom and chicken crepe and a cappuccino to go with it.
‘That’s £3.87 please, your crepe is half price today,’ said the girl behind the counter smiling at me. At least I think that was how much she said it would cost. I was a little stunned by the price, it was more akin to plastic wrapped than freshly cooked.
Now I was even more confused. ‘Why is it half price?’ I asked.
Pointing to a little chalk board on top of the cake counter (I’d been too distracted by the contents below to notice it before), she said, ‘It’s Pancake Tuesday, so all our pancakes are half price.’
I’d had an hour and ten minutes to get from Birmingham Moor Street to Birmingham New Street to catch my connecting train and I was hungry. A quick search on my phone at the platform on Moor Street for ‘places to eat in Birmingham’ had only brought up restaurants and places miles away. So, lugging my suitcase behind me I’d wandered in the opposite direction, getting away from the ubiquitous high street names, in search of something a little more inspiring than a wrap from Boots. It was then that I spotted an A-board at the entrance to The Square:
Waiting for the crepe to arrive, I sat outside enjoying the spring sunshine with my top lip getting lost in the froth of the cappuccino. The coffee was delicious, with a smoky taste to it.
The pancake was excellent, even if it tasted more like a pancake than a crepe, but that’s just me being pedantic. For once, the cheese inside was completely melted, unlike so many other disappointing savoury pancakes served in the UK. The balance of melted cheese, mushrooms and chicken was perfect. The little mixed leaf salad on the side had sliced red pepper, sweetcorn, cucumber and a tangy balsamic dressing on top, which was a wonderful antidote to the creamy mellowness of the pancake. I was looking for somewhere independent, inspirational and indulgent; I’d certainly found it.
Before leaving I couldn’t resist heading back inside for a piece of the carrot cake to take with me.
‘Did you enjoy your crepe?’
‘It was fantastic. Are the cakes homemade?’ I ask.
‘Yes, but not by me. But I did make the rocky roads,’ she says handing me the carrot cake, grinning proudly. They do look good.
‘Ah, I’ll have to try that next time,’ I say.
Coffee Time is located in The Square shopping centre (under the clock tower), Priory Square, Birmingham, B4 7LG.
Mon – Fri 7.00am – 6.00pm
Sat 8.30am – 6.30pm
Sun 10.00am – 5.00pm