Blend and Batch
Banbride has always offered a jigsaw of good food, and now another piece of the tasty puzzle has been completed with the arrival of Blend & Batch, run by Marion and Peter Fairbairn, a cute modernist coffee shop, where locally roasted coffee is brewed with care, and contemporary cooking knocks out extended breakfasts, and light lunches.
The room overlooks a busy roundabout at the southern end of Banbridge, with two huge windows that meet in the corner, and fill the room with natural light. Oak trimmed formica tables and modernist metal and leather seats sit smartly on a floated concrete floor. There are unadorned light bulbs, and a simple table setting with a little wooden block which you use to reserve your table while you order at the counter, and a plain white bowl of sugar sachets.
The room quickly fills up with ladies lunching on rich looking baps of brioche bread with pulled beef brisket; parents with buggies ordering sausage and toast; and couples in smart exercise gear ordering protein shakes. Blend & Batch make a demon quesadilla, which manages that perfect – yet so often elusive – balance between light and satisfying, and their salads are carefully constructed and come at the right temperature with fresh leaves and bright toppings. There are fourteen teas to choose from, served in dinky little glass teapots for one. The coffee is from local roaster 38 Espresso, whilst their bread is from the Yellow Door Bakery.
Banbridge is home to the Bronte Homeland Drive, where you can tour the region and discover the family roots of the Bronte sisters, Charlotte and Emily, revered Victorian women writers, whose father grew up amongst these fertile drumlin hills. Spend the morning discovering what may have influenced the deep background of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, then head to Banbridge for a great cup of coffee and some smart Blend & Batch cooking.
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