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Classic and Contemporary Coffee Stop, Bawtry

Classic and Contemporary Coffee Stop, Bawtry supporting image

If you don’t get your hands dirty, you’re not doing it right

At a time when our food scene is a festival of pretention, The Classic and Contemporary Coffee Stop, Bawtry is a victory for all those who like to get messy when they eat.


We arrive on a Thursday afternoon - greeted by a wooden-panelled café at Yorkshire Caravans of Bawtry - ready to soak up the best of the British sunshine with a sarnie and a well-earned pot of English tea (£1.85).


Keeping it simple, the Bawtry café boasts sandwiches and paninis designed to be meals in themselves. They are large. They are cheap - at around £7 a pop. They are modestly complex. And they are very messy to eat. According to café owner Simon, “if you don’t get your hands dirty, you’re not doing it right”, an ethos welcomed by myself and my companion.  


Simon is not just the boss, but part of the scene. If you want a quiet meal, he won’t get in your way, but if you want a chat and a laugh, you’ll get one.


Simplicity in menus is a virtue loved by customers, smart chefs and restaurant managers alike. And it is clear from the get go that the team at The Classic and Contemporary Coffee Stop are hell-bent on celebrating the delights of the humble British sandwich.


My companion - a fellow lover of minimalism - orders the Ham and Mature Cheddar Panini (£7.15) and I settle on the Roast Beef, Blue Cheese and Fried Onion Panini (£7.45) - I was unintentionally thankful that I arrived with a packet of extra strong mints in my purse.


Though in the midst of a lunchtime rush, both paninis appeared promptly - toasted on the outside and crisp against the paleness of the cheese - teeming with decidedly British fillings. Accompanied by a generous portion of side salad, hand cooked crisps and homemade coleslaw. A note to those thinking of dining: there’s no need to fill up on breakfast before your arrival.


Individually each element was excellent. The contrast between the fried onion and juicy beef was unexpectedly terrific - an immediate front-runner for the title of Bawtry’s best Panini. If such an award exists.


Dessert was a giant slice of Sonya’s Cherry Bakewell (£3.45) baked fresh that morning, but the magic ingredient was Sonya herself, bringing it - literally, if you want it - to the table.


The cake was a joy, except that we were so full we had to box up the half we couldn’t devour and re-visit it later that evening.


The café’s décor is endearingly and artlessly simplistic. Keeping it minimal – with lots of comfortable seating - in an unpretentious location where the prices can be kept low.


The key ingredient at The Classic and Contemporary Coffee Shop is the staff, who are readily on hand to welcome you with a smile and some friendly conversation, no matter how busy the café. And it may sit slightly off the beaten track, but is teeming with visitors from opening through to close.  


Boasting great food, good drink, and prices so low you could get properly full for around £15 per head – there’s plenty to love here. You’ll certainly leave happy. And messy.

The Classic and Contemporary Coffee Stop, Great North Road, Bawtry. Tel: 01302 711 900