Make a stop at Bothy Coffee in White Park Bay if you are on or driving up the North Coast of Northern Ireland. This rustic coffee shop and cafe has been catching my eye every drive north I’ve made this year, which was more than usual since I’ve had so many visitors over for a change! I just had a feeling it would be a good time.
Boy, was I not disappointed! Bothy Coffee has taken over an old gas station, with all it’s nooks and crannies, and has made itself a little haven from any weather. There’s a wide porch, like something you would see at a home-style ranch, with logs beside the door to greet you. Exposed wood throughout with a roaring fire gives the immediate feeling of being at home.
Looking at the freshly prepared sandwiches, I couldn’t see anything vegan. However, there was more food than just what was displayed. Judging from the menu overhead I thought there would be a few things that could be veganised. I asked at the till and was immediately given two options: the homemade sweet potato soup or an open sandwich with fried field mushrooms, avocado, and a tomato salsa. Sandwich over soup any day, I say, and ordered this with a soya latte.
We took a seat at a large communal table, feeling relaxed in the surroundings after a long drive. Service was fast and friendly and our coffees were brought to us. Art on my soya latte was nothing special but an excellent, delicate feather was on my partner’s caramel latte. The coffee was, in no uncertain terms, excellent. With my first sip came an involuntary “mmmmmm” of pleasure.
This was quite literally one of the nicest coffees I have had in ages, maybe since I had my own place. The beans were from Bailies Coffee Roasters so I knew they were going to be delicious. Those guys know what they’re doing in the roasting room. This particular roast was phenomenal and when paired with creamy soya milk was neither overpowering nor weak. I was a very, very happy girl drinking this and was sorely tempted to overindulge and order one to go when we left!
Then the food came out. I have to say, there’s not going to be many times in the course of this blog that I might value the food over the coffee, but this is one of those times. A totally delicious custom made vegan brunch. It was beautiful. I mean, literally, beautiful to look at. The presentation was on point, with the perfectly cooked field mushrooms draped on top, and the bread nestled on a smear of spicy tomato chutney.
To say this was delicious would be an understatement. It went beyond delicious and into the most perfect food territory. The creamy avocado, squidgey mushrooms, and sweet roasted peppers were an amazing combination. If I could eat this over and over again every day of my life, I genuinely don’t think the flavours would get boring.
It looks like there’s a pizzeria in the works as well and out the back is an old bar converted into a pizza oven. If it was a warmer day we definitely would have sat outside! I loved the painted tables and re-purposed burlap coffee bag pillows.
Other things that I loved about Bothy Coffee were the quirky art pieces on the walls and bathrooms, especially this print that explains more about how the coffee shop came to be.
There is also a small retail section selling bags of Bailies Coffee, Suki Tea, and a variety of other specialty foods from Northern Ireland artisans. A few items of clothing are available plus some beautiful prints.
Next time I head up the Antrim Coast Road (which has been voted Lonely Planet’s #1 region to visit in 2018!) I will definitely be stopping here again – and you should make it a priority for your own trip!
You can check out Bothy Coffee for yourself!
Amanda Sloan is a Social Media Strategist at Thankful Cow Solutions and a blogger at Bean & Backpack. She’s a lover of restaurants, coffee shops, and nutrition. You’ll find her talking and writing about social media, vegan food, travel, specialty coffee, and positive mindset.