The magnificent refurbished courtyard of Lancaster Castle, one of the biggest in UK, is a fabulous backdrop for a spot of lunch, a delicious snack and a selection of hand-selected coffees from all over the world brewed with Eagle One by Victoria Arduino. “When we learned that the 900 year old castle was being restored to become a tourist attraction instead of a prison we knew it would be a great place for a cafe! In this day and age, all tourist attractions need a good cafe and this space makes an amazing café” – said Caspar Steel, Atkinsons Coffee Roaster Managing Director.
Dominating the local skyline, Lancaster Castle is one of England’s best-preserved castles. Its early history is unclear, but it may have been founded in the 11th century on the site of a Roman fort overlooking a crossing of the River Lune. The Cafè, situated at the highest point of the newsly recreated Kitchen Courtyard, is comprised of two buildings: the old kitchen and the only 21st Century building of the outside segment of the castle.
Although the building that The Café is in is very old, the café itself is a modern addition. “We felt that if we tried too hard to make the cafe look similar to the castle then it would seem faux as our space is new. Also, with considerate, minimal design, it is possible to highlight the historical architecture that is around you, so this is what we tried to achieve. So we try and highlight the architecture of the castle and also to reflect the character of Atkinson’s as an old yet modern company” – continues Caspar. “We tried to use materials that help to create a warm and welcoming environment in a large space. To do this we used a lot of birch ply wood for the furniture and matte black Formica ply wood for the worktops and some table tops. We also tried to include lots of large plants to soften the large space”.
Every detail is aligned to the design of the coffee shop. “The Eagle One is a great design in itself but it is also a great design to compliment many different interiors as it is sleek, minimal and highly customisable. We had our 3 group Eagle One customised by Urban Espresso in Birmingham by powder coating the entire thing in matte black, the group heads, the drip tray, the logo, even the feet are matte black! This sits beautifully on our matte black worktop next to the matte black grinders and Puqpress”- said Caspar.
Atkinsons Coffee Roasters’ business was established in 1837 but had a new lease of life in 2005 when Steel family bought it. Now, 17 years later they have 4 locations of their own, a busy wholesale program and website and a state of the art roasting facility. Atkinson’s focus has always been on sourcing and roasting the best coffee possible while building long term relationships with producers. “Our primary focus is to try and showcase our coffees and teas and we also have wide selection of cakes and pastries from our own bakery, alongside house-made grilled sandwiches and soup. For that reason we always try to choose coffee equipment that will enable us to make the best quality and most consistent coffee with the most ease and efficiency. We also try to choose equipment that will be reliable and looks great on the bar! We decided to go for the Eagle One because it ticks all of these boxes and some!”- said Caspar. “It’s also amazing to have all of these features with low energy consumption, most multi boiler machines that deliver reliable brew temperature and steam power use a lot of energy! Thanks to innovations like the small, insulated brew boilers, heat recovery system and auto purge, the Eagle One uses much less energy and still delivers quality.”
This part of the castle has not been seen in living memory “and we aim to give those that come here an unforgettable experience”.