Despite being a born and bred local, there are countless places I still haven’t had the opportunity to check out in Aberystwyth. The Grail is one of them. Established in 2017, The Grail is a savoury and sweet ‘hidden gem’ of a café. I’ve followed them on Instagram for a while, admiring their cupcake creations from afar. Personally, when presented with some sweet/savoury treats and a cup of coffee bigger than my head, I’m a happy bunny.
I’ve had my fair share of coffees this week, especially with a fresh set of coursework on the horizon. Just as I finish one set of deadlines, another load pops up on the horizon. Oh, the joys of university. At least I have pretty coffee shops to sit and work in for hours on end!
Upon entering the petite café, I was a little worried. On the ground floor there are four tables, and I anticipated that they would fill quickly. However, I was informed by the staff that there was more seating located downstairs. Walking downstairs reveals a surprisingly bright and cosy space draped in fairy lights. It was like stepping directly into a carefully curated Instagram feed. My aesthetic-fuelled soul couldn’t have been happier.
To top off the easy-going and homely atmosphere, there’s a collection of board games tucked away in the corner. My friends and I are particularly fond of a few games of draughts over our coffees. God, I sound about 90 years old… But honestly it’s very quaint and unlike any café I’ve been to in the local area.
One of the stand-out features of the café is the little reading nook. There’s also a repurposed window-shutter mirror on the opposite wall. I couldn’t resist taking a selfie, if I didn’t take a mirror selfie did I even visit? Probably not.
To top it all off, all the food served on site is homemade. Which means you’ll get to see your food cooked right in front of you if you take a seat upstairs.
In an attempt to support more small businesses and ditch my reliance on chain corporations, I’ve started the Small Business Spotlight series here on Welsh Wanderer. It’s exactly what it says on the tin; a place to feature and promote small businesses. This is an ongoing project I’m working on to promote smaller, ethically run and sustainable businesses.
In addition to this, I’ve set up a second Instagram account; Bloggers Who Brunch Wales. This will be a platform to showcase the fantastic places across Wales to visit for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. In order to be featured over on the page, tag @bloggerswhobrunchwales and use the tag #bloggerswhobrunchwales.
I couldn’t visit The Grail without trying one of their infamous cupcakes. There were so many options to choose from that it was pretty hard to pick just one. I ended up opting for the coffee and fudge cupcake. This consists of a coffee infused sponge with a gooey fudge centre, and a cubed fudge topping. On my next visit I’ve already planned to try their lemon meringue cupcake.
I'm Elen Mai, the brains behind Welsh Wanderer and 20-something human biology student from (you guessed it) Wales! Welsh Wanderer is designed with the eco-conscious adventurer in mind. So stick around for tips & tricks on living sustainably.