Hennessey’s Coffee Lounge

I have to admit that I wasn’t aiming to visit Hennessey’s Coffee Lounge in Bedminster. I had just been to Asda to stock up on Halloween party provisions (severed arm, bejewelled skull, etc) and was cycling down North Street on my way to the Tobacco Factory when I spied Hennessey’s.

Although now open for more than two years, I am ashamed to say that I had previously never known of its¬†existence. But one visit to Hennessey’s has now firmly put it firmly into my top five of Bristol cafes, without any hesitation.

In previous incarnations a tailors, fish tank shop and brothel, Hennessey’s has an oldie feel to it unlike many of the uber cool modern cafes now in vogue. There is a slate floor with bare stone walls painted red and white; pieces of driftwood hang above the door; and old hessian coffee sacks are dotted around.

There is a very literary theme here, with books to peruse on every available surface. The literary theme continues on the walls beside the sacks, where there are framed posters of Penguin Classics, an original French version of Tintin ‘On a marche sur la lune’, and also a poster of the surreal French movie Delicatessen.

It’s not large inside Hennessey’s, but there are alcoves either side of the front door and another even smaller room at the back (perhaps once upon a time the tailors’ workshop) that you can squirrel yourself away in.

There are mismatched tables and chairs and a comfy brown leather sofa that I sank into because the cafe was completely full when I visited on Wednesday morning. Families were treating the kids to a half-term treat, friends were meeting up for a chat, and what looked like two estate agents were carrying out a very important business meeting.

On the counter were an orange and polenta cake, hazelnut and praline cupcakes, a carrot and orange cake, and luxury shortbread. There was also rather randomly two bunches of bananas.

Although I had to wait a while to be served and then to be brought my vanilla latte – as like in a restaurant the drinks orders were stacked up on pieces of paper stuck to a board – it did not matter in the slightest.

Hennessey’s is an absolutely wonderful cafe. I only wish I had found it sooner.

Hennessey’s Coffee Lounge, 18 North Street, Bedminster.

5 Responses so far.

  1. Ooh, that sounds like my kind of place. I have so far failed at properly exploring North Street, but when I get my bike working again I may start venturing that way more.

  2. Keith Jones says:

    I’m not sure this place really knows its direction. I suppose its stuck to the commercial necessity of ‘if they have money they can come in’ The free Independent and the building’s ambience raises hopes – then!

  3. pippa greenwood says:

    three cheers for hennesseys it had to happen the perfect independent coffee shop well done.
    mr jones( what ?)^

  4. Marie Mulvey-Roberts says:

    Hennesseys is fabulous. It does the best and healthiest decaff. one shot, large, soya cappuchinno without chocolate in the world.

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