was borne from a throwaway remark from the founder’s father, Alan Kifford, who – upon retiring and discovering the delights of idle window shopping and silver surfing – mentioned that the Internet lacks somewhere to tell you where the best cappuccino and scones are to be had (!) ... having visited many cafés of widely differing quality.
It’s a fair question, and one we asked many people before embarking on the project. The overwhelming consensus is that “yes” the site will be of value for people wanting to research cafés to visit and for passing on their own opinions of venues they’ve already experienced – restaurants, pubs and hotels have a multitude of review-based sites, so why not one for cafés?
In this time of economic uncertainty, an aromatic freshly brewed coffee (and perhaps a sneaky slice of caramel shortbread) while window shopping, or on the way to/from work, is a luxury that we all can still – just about – justify. We want your choice of café to deliver the treat your deserve, not be a regrettable experience
We want to promote cafés. We all use them and often take them for granted. We’ve all had really pleasant visits, and some that we’d rather forget. is your way of telling the world that the café near the train station has the friendliest staff ever, or the one near the beach serves the most incredible homemade cakes – or the one on your High Street has no facilities for children and is a nightmare to manoeuvre your pram through... what matters to you will also matter to many other people, so your views are valued.
Quite simply, everyone! The success of the website will depend upon you, the café customer, uploading reviews of your experiences. The more reviews we receive, the more comprehensive the search results will become.
OK, this wasn’t as easy as first imagined. Do we refer to the establishments as coffee shops (as used in the US) – but wouldn’t this rule out tea shops and gardens? Should we use the term tea/coffee shop instead ... but it sounds rather cumbersome. Café was suggested, and having checked with our US friends that this was a commonly accepted term, we decided to stick with it. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a café is defined as:
“a usually small and informal establishment serving various refreshments”
For we define a café as somewhere that you can get food and drink that isn’t an obvious restaurant. It’s a venue that doesn’t require pre-booking, and you don’t have to purchase food but can just enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Cafés can be located in department stores, garden centres, children’s attractions (soft play centre, farms, zoos, etc.) as well as the ‘olde worlde’ tea gardens and the obvious world-renowned High Street coffee shops. Hey, if the best cup of tea you’ve ever had was purchased from a roadside mobile burger bar who pitches daily in the same location – then we want to know about them!
First and foremost is a database of café reviews, written by you – the café customer. Each café will receive a score based on your visit and these scores will dictate how high a café is listed on the results page of a search.
As well as the all-important reviews, has a news section, where coffee, tea, cocoa, café press releases are listed. Accompanying this is our very own blog, containing our thoughts on interesting articles we’ve seen that are café-related; we include our own reviews of cafés too, as well as other snippets of info we believe will interest you.
‘We’ are Tracey Kifford and Huw Kidwell, both freelance journalists, and both parents to toddler Millie-Mae and baby Toby. Having collectively written for over 20 years on other people’s publications, we’ve always been on the lookout for a product to call our own. When our children’s granddad proposed this venture, we knew it was worth exploring and we are confident that with all your help, we can make it a success. So please, when you next stop off for a coffee and a cake somewhere – let us know about it. Please download a blank review sheet and keep it in your diary –tell your friends about us and help us spread the word.