Can you remember where you were when you first heard that Starbucks was finally coming to our shores in Worksop?
I certainly do. It was on Twitter and I remember being as stunned as anyone to hear the popular coffee chain had set its sights on the former Little Chef site on the A57 roundabout.
M&S and Costa are probably two of the biggest names to come to the area in recent years, and the chance of a brand like Starbucks joinig them seemed unlikely.
I must admit I’m not a fan of the big chains and prefer to catch up over tea and cake in the more independent places in Worksop.
But after seeing several people still tweet about the place weeks after it opened, I decided to check out what the fuss was all about as I met up with my folks for a catch-up over coffee and cake.
It’s been years since I last stepped into a Starbucks and it has certainly changed, with a more minimal and modern look.
The coffee shop is located next to the Travelodge and has plenty of parking, so there is no need to rush while you nip in for a takeaway treat or more leisurely catch-up inside.
As we walked in, my dad made a bee-line for the mini-shop offering a selection of premium coffees, teas syrups as well as branded mugs and cups to re-create that Starbucks experience at home.
My mum and I left him to choose his favourite tea as we browsed the impressive selection of goodies on offer.
Breakfast time had come and gone but had it been four hours earlier, there were plenty of treats to choose from, from buttermilk pancakes and berries, porridge and fruity yoghurt to salmon bagels, cheese and Marmite panini to cheddar and mushroom croissants.
Lunchtime choices also looked equally tasty and included the eye-catching Bistro Boxes - packed with fresh and wholesome fillings such as the Tuna with Minted Pea, Bean and Potato Salad, Falafel Mezze, Chicken with Red Pesto Pasta and Cured Ham Hock.
I fancied something from the hot sandwich range and went for the enticing sounding Italian Mozzarella and Slow Roast Tomato Panini to share with my dad.
My mum plumped for a croissant from the delicious range of sweet and savoury pastries and was greeted with a friendly smile when she asked if it could be warmed up.
I normally opt for a tea or soft drink when in coffee shops, but when in Starbucks it has to be a Frappucino so I decided to go for a small Chocolate Cream concoction.
After a few minutes’ wait we tucked into our piping hot panini which was tasty and fresh, although would have benefitted from more roast tomatoes which were a little thin on the ground.
But my folks were very impressed with their respective filter coffee and double esperesso choices and said they delivered on their taste promise.
My chocolate cream frappucino was also really good and worth every mouthful.
It was hard to resist having something from the sweet treat selection, so we plumped for a slice of lemon drizzle and raspberry and coconut cake, bringing our bill to £14.Both choices were really delicious and my mum was also impressed with being offered a coffee refill absolutely free.
Starbucks might not be everyone’s cup of tea but our experience in Worksop offered something new and tasty, and scored particularly well on choice, convenience and friendly service with a smile.
By Chantal Spittles