Leonard’s is a wonderful coffee shop tucked away behind and beneath Durham’s cobbled streets. Head for Silver Street and look for the sign to Rumbletums.
You’ll soon emerge into Fowler’s Yard, an unexpected and welcome little cubby hole full of “creative workspaces” on the banks of the Wear. The other way to find this secret garden is to head down from Millburngate Bridge, towards the back end of the indoor market.
Leonard’s is a boring name (no offence Leonard) for an interesting coffee shop. But I’m thankful the eponymous person wasn’t tempted by an “o” suffix to make it sound that little bit more italian… it’s much more down to earth this way (just how I like things).
Leonard’s was too busy for us at lunch time (on a Sunday); it’s obviously a popular place, overcoming the fact that there seems to be very little passing trade. We came back at about 4pm when there were tables free.
It’s fairly small (cosy, certainly) with tables spilling out onto the quiet street . Sugar cubes are lumpy (a good thing) and the white mugs have an Escher-like windy style. The paper menus are wound up in mugs and there are other little details to spot as your eyes wander. There are even “pretty fairy lights that look like berries”, as one of my companions commented.
There is the usual coffee selection and the coffee is good. There is an array of delicious cakes, biscuits, muffins etc, and of course lunchtime food. And everything is good value.
The food is tempting, but if you just want to sit with a coffee this would be perfectly acceptable. Inside or out, it’s equally nice.
Leonard’s oozes pride and detail. It’s the nicest coffee shop I’ve found in the region so far.
1 Back Silver Street
We visited on 10 February 2008.