63 Coffee Tales: bustling cafe brunch

Coffee Tales, Jewellery Quarter, 15 Warstone Lane, B18 6HP

What an unexpected treat of a cafe! Not somewhere which has made a big fuss about its presence in the centre of the Jewellery Quarter, but certainly somewhere well known to local residents: when we arrived at 10am it was absolutely stuffed, and we took the last table to sit down and study the menu.

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Inside, plain wooden tables and chairs fill most of the space, with big sofas by the window so you can really relax and watch the world go by through the big picture windows all down the front wall.

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Ordering at the bar is a bit of a trial at breakfast, as there are enormous and delicious-looking cakes positively heaped up in front of you, looking so tempting I will definitely be back for coffee and cake one day.

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The menu itself is classic English breakfast fare, with a side line in American pancakes with a variety of toppings. I ordered a buttermilk bun with egg, sausage and sauteed mushrooms. It was supposed to have bacon, but I asked for it to be left off and was given a second sausage instead. The resulting bun was gigantic, and also, incredibly tasty; the mushrooms were tasty without being greasy, the egg perfectly poached, the bun lightly toasted: perfect!

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The full English came advertised wth artisan bread for the toast, which turned out to be a particular highlight, and worth a rare fancy adjective on this menu. It is a simple breakfast, as you can see, but each element was well-cooked and tasty.

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A tip for investors: the people who make these teapots must be raking it in. I’ve had the same teapot in three different cafes in the last week alone, and they turn up all over the place beyond that. Sadly, the tea was the only negative aspect of my breakfast – the cup was noticeably dirty when I wiped it out with a napkin.

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The toilets were also a bit mucky, with loo roll on the floor etc, and there is only one toilet for the cafe (often the case in the little JQ cafes). However, it must be noted that the whole cafe is very baby friendly, and the one toilet has a proper baby change unit and bin as well as the standards (a toilet and a sink).

In summary:

Price: cheap eats: £15.50 for a full English (approx £6), a sausage and egg bun (approx £5) and two drinks

Atmosphere and design: plain but welcoming, white tiles, wooden tables, blackboard behind the bar

Food: plain but well done

Toilets: one unisex loo, a bit messy, but with good baby change facilities

Enjoyment: Definitely worth a stop in if you need a good breakfast (or coffee and cake) in the Jewellery Quarter; it isn’t gimmicky, or particularly hipster-trendy, as many places in the JQ are these days, but it is just nice and gives you exactly what you want.

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