Hi all, how are you doing on this (surprisingly clement) Friday? One of the joys of working in the city centre (for this Derby foodie) is to indulge in the ability to pop out during lunch and have everything at your fingertips, from delicious coffee to freshly prepped sandwiches.

So when I heard that OutPost Coffee were paying a fleeting visit to Baked in Derby, I couldn’t resist popping along for lunch there and squeezing a review in too. What better excuse to try out  new coffee AND review the place?

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Baked is a quaint spot nestled in the heart of The Strand. Replete with floor-to-ceiling windows giving the cosy space a light and airy ambience, this is also happens to be one of my favourite spots in Derby.

I ordered at the till, was greeted by the friendly smiles of Victoria (and on this occasion, Greg Campher, founder of OutPost Coffee too), and was soon seated in the contemporary modern space.

Greg has been consulting with Victoria, and OutPost Coffee have created a delicious bespoke blend just for Victoria. It took around three months to create, including cupping, tasting and brewing sessions. How cool is that, having a specialty coffee, bespoke to your café, created just for you?

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Whilst Greg expertly made my latté (soya, flat white, extra hot, extra wet, if you’re asking), I indulged in one of my favourite pastimes and people-watched. Not like an eye-balling stalker, but more of a leisurely perusal in the way of a gentle writer at work. I ordered the chicken sandwich (bread-crumbed chicken goujons, soft white bloomer bread, coleslaw, vegetable crisps, lightly dressed leaf salad) and of course the coffee. The bread was the star of the show; pillow-soft, whilst the perfect edges retained a slight chew. The coleslaw was creamy, crunchy and with the perfect amount of mayonnaise, whilst the chicken was fresh and tender on the bite.

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It was a pleasing plate and made for a substantial lunch. I like my food on the salty side, so I quickly salted my sliced tomato in the sandwich. I find this also releases more juices, making for a much moister sandwich. Whilst I tucked into my chunky sandwich in a lady-like manner (it was more like scarfing it down to be honest), I had a quick chat with Greg. OutPost Coffee Roasters are based in Nottingham and are artisan coffee roasters. This guy knows his coffee and it was lovely to meet a fellow coffee fiend. I’m in the middle of fleshing out an exciting coffee feature, slated to be published early next year (I know, I know, 2016 is around the corner!). Do keep your eyes peeled for that.

I also picked up a gorgeous box of roasted coffee beans, check out this bad boy here:

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Back to my food review – I love Baked. From the warm welcome, to the scrummy coffee, I wish it was open all day, every day. One thing I’m totally envious of, is that our European cousins have a really engaging, interactive coffee culture. Sipping coffee in a coffee house at 9pm is unheard of here in Derby. I sincerely hope and wish that this changes soon. There is a real niche and demand for coffee houses with character who remain open way past the hum-drum 9am-5pm.

So, an impassioned plea to the lovely Victoria (and all the other cafés in Derby and beyond). Please open your doors a little later, for those coffee-heads who crave a decent cup at those ungodly-ish hours.

For good food, artisan coffee and heart-warming smiles that will cheer your soul on a dark autumnal afternoon, pop into Baked. For more information about this gorgeous café and their coffee collaborators OutPost Coffee, check out their respective Twitter handles as follows: @BakedDerby / @OutpostRoasters

Star Rating for Baked Café 1-10 (1: “I’d rather eat my own shoe, I hated it that much” – 10: “I’d pillage for lunch here”.)

Food: 9

Value for money: 9

Ambience: 8

Rate or Slate? Rate.

1 dish plus drink (Chicken Sandwich + Latté): £7.80.

Address: 16 The Strand, Derby DE1 1BE Tel: 01332 346804

See you soon and have a delicious weekend (packed with coffee of course). Oh, and Happy Halloween!

RAxx

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