Touring without Starbucks

I tour all over the UK  and I go to so many brilliant train station (and a few other) cafes that I thought I’d start a little list for anyone who, like me, would rather give their well-earned cash to a small business rather a millionaire coffee chain when they’re travelling.

So these are my favourite places to go grab a drink or some food after I’ve finished the packed lunch I thought would last longer on the train. To be honest, sometimes I choose cities to tour in because I want to go back to these places!

I love train stations and I love trains and I love eating. So this ties it all in. I’ll keep adding as I tour. Also, the station names are in alphabetical order. x

Ely Train Station
Ely Food Station
I have to change at Ely all the time for trains between South and North England and this wee cafe is at the end of the station. To be honest, I like it cos it does crumpets and jam. I’ve never tried anything else there but there’s sandwiches and toasties and stuff. Also, there’s lots of nice alcohol. They have good mugs for tea. I hate drinking out of those massive fucking costa mugs. But yeah, I go their for a cup of tea and a crumpet mostly. I never eat breakfast if i know I’ve got a fifteen minute hangover at Ely!

Hull (Quayside)
Thieving Harry’s
I love Hull. I’ve done loads of gigs in Hull and it was one of the first cities to keep asking me back, so I’ve got a soft spot for it perhaps. This cafe isn’t in the train station, it’s by the sea, but I love it a lot and the area is a really interesting one to go to.  I always get an earlier train to a Hull gig if I can so I can go and work from this cafe and have one of their grilled sandwiches . I think there’s a bit of a theme here. I like a toastie. Not sure if they still do those but the whole menu is really fucking delicious. And it overlooks the water. Good kid’s menu too.

Newcastle Train Station
Darceys Grilled Cheese
This place is right next to the Cafe Nero / Costa Coffee (I can’t remember which is which cos they’ve blurred into one for me) in the main entrance to Newcastle station. They have a sit down area with fake grass which I like and do hot drinks and all that standard stuff to but the toasties are fucking delicious. I’m vegetarian so I’ve only tried the macaroni cheese toastie and three cheese toastie. There’s a vegan one too. In case you’re vegan. And there’s meat too. In case you’re not vegetarian. I love gigging in Newcastle anyway but this place makes it even better. Also – my Newcastle gig venue is The Cluny and the food there is also fucking amazing, really good. The nachos especially, so if you want a day of eating in Newcastle I’d say, get a grilled cheese sandwich, go for a walk across the bridges, then go eat and watch a band (or a poet) at The Cluny.

York Train Station
Hilda and Janes pop up cake stall
I bought a toblerone brownie and it was lush. It’s not cheap but they’re big and filling and well, Starbuck’s not cheap either is it. It’s not at the station every day but three days a week so if you’re lucky, great! The cheesecakes and oreo brownies and crunchy brownies also looked like I could run them all over my face for pleasure. If that’s your thing.



Published by Hollie Poetry

Hollie is a UK poet who loves writing. @holliepoetry

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