Love coffee as much as the cafés that sell it? Paying homage to the finely ground and whole beans, (and right next to arch rival Urban Coffee), Home is Where café hold their own next to the big leaguers.
I've fallen for the décor, which is a marriage of old and new; it is reminiscent of a rural village café, and mixes Down on the Prairie chic with modern features such as the advertised free wifi and social media savvy staff. The variety of food and drink shows it's firmly placed in 2013, but the scrubbed wooden floors, dark oak table and chairs, and chalkboard menus, mingled with the scent of home-cooked food and hot cocoa makes it feel like a cute and cosy cabin in the woods.
Sadly they don't sell loose leaf teas, so they're not number one of my top cafés in town, but they serve a mean coffee, and cold beverages that have won me over. Their iced smoothies and frappes are delicious, and considering I'm not a coffee drinker I've fallen into the habit of buying their mocha latte frappes at least once a week.
Food-wise they sell what you'd expect – sandwiches, salads, pastries, but also a number of main meals and desserts that might take you by surprise. I can't get enough of their veggie lunch time options; the Mezze Platter – hummus, breads, roasted Mediterranean vegetables, is a brilliant starter when you're in a group, but the falafel balls with a yoghurt dip is my go-to when I need something quick and filling before I return to the office.
If you've got the time I recommend the Prosciutto, Pear and Walnut Salad, followed by the Light Fried Squid, or the Fish Cake with a Chilli Lime dressing. I'm a sucker for chilli, but I don't like heat; Home is Where do it just right, and the dressing is a nice hit of chilli without burning your mouth. These small mains are priced at £3.50 each or three for £10. They say the three meals serve 2-4 people, but I tend to buy three when I'm with just the one friend because the portions aren't that large, even though they all come with (rather nice) bread.
Inside the cafe
They have an active Facebook page, which I recommend checking because they post new recipes and new dishes on their page every week, and of course you're welcome to comment. It also makes me feel like I have some sort of input, as though they're listening to my point.
It's nice to be heard, but it's also nice to enjoy hot, freshly buttered toast on the way to work, and feel part of the crowd who buys their breakfast on the way in. That sounds silly, but you feel a warm joy spreading through your every bone when other enviously eye your hot breakfast as you spoon the honey drizzled porridge into your mouth.
More than anything Home is Where is the perfect place to sit with your laptop, or tablet and work away while the café busies itself with customers. When I do drop in with my trusted laptop I find myself cradling a frothy frappe, eaves dropping on whispered conversations between friends, and watching the people of Birmingham come and go with a small smile on their faces as they tuck into their breakfast, lunch, or much-needed coffee.