Follow the comforting aroma of roasting coffee beans and it will lead you to Keith’s – probably one of the oldest and most traditional coffee shops in Cirencester’s town centre. It’s a little Aladdin’s cave where you can purchase a wide variety of leaf teas and coffee – both sold loose, as well as top notch sweets and biscuits, jams and relishes.
When you walk into this little emporium in one of Cirencester’s most picturesque streets, you get a sense of history and tradition and you could keep yourself amused for a considerable amount of time just scanning the labels of the eclectic collection of delightful goodies piled up on the shelves, stacked all the way up to the ceiling. Chocolate liqueurs from Italy, Turkish delight, French bon-bons, Swiss and Belgian chocolate, British preserves, relishes and sweets. It’s an obligatory pit-stop on the yearly crusade to fill the Christmas stockings with a special kind of ‘pick & mix’.
There are a few stools around the oak bar where you can sip a decent cup of tea, cappuccino or hot chocolate whilst watching mesmerized customers gazing at the products on the shelves, or in the summer you could sit in the secret little courtyard heaven at the back and sip a refreshing lemonade whilst snacking on a slice of home-made quiche or a potato rosti. The lunch menu is limited but the quality is good.
If you need an injection of tradition and cosiness or if you want to give your international guests a flavour of British heritage, you should look no further.