I’ve had a big dark cloud hanging over me for the last 24 hours that isn’t showing any signs of lifting yet, but my spirits are up as I’ve just been down to optical engineering to visit my laser pals… and I’ve just ordered myself a graduation cake! It’s going to be lilac and violet like my ‘BEng’ graduation robes with pink buttercream and raspberries on the top. When you cut into it, you’ll be met with delicious raspberry and white chocolate sponge and filling. Happy days. 🙂
The snow is still falling gently, and I’m drinking chilli chai inside wearing my chunkiest jumper. It’s very cold outside but I’m feeling cosy and enjoying some respite (not only from the cold but also from the cloud hanging over me).
At the moment I enjoy being in places that make me feel safe and relaxed, and the place I’m going to talk about today is Bom Bom Patisserie.
Bom Bom Patisserie is a small independent coffee shop in Loughborough, in the suburban area just off campus from the university library. Bom Bom offers a wide selection of freshly baked sweets and delicious coffee. Dairy and gluten free alternatives are available for those who’d like them and there is an never-ending stream of goods being baked, filling the shop with sweet and buttery smells. It’s my favourite place to be in Loughborough, and where I’m sitting right now as I write this.
I talk so much about Bom Bom, that even people who don’t know me that well know that this is where you’ll probably find me during term time… I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing?!
Anyway, I’m a regular Bom Bom visitor – on my own or with friends; for breakfast, lunch or for a mid-morning/afternoon treat.
To get to Bom Bom all you have to do is walk up the DC hill – walk through the gate and down the hill onto Derwent Drive. Walk past the pharmacy, then Wokstar, and you’re there.
On the left when you walk through the door is a selection of chairs and tables, each with a little potted plant and a paper cup of napkins. On the right is a glorious selection of fresh baked goods and a friendly hello from Marta, Dan, Alice or another bandana-ed lovely staff member.
Marta and her team chop and change the selection of bakes available on a daily basis. Different variations of brownies, muffins, pastries and vegan treats. There are the guest bakes such as marshmallow squares and macarons, or a slice of a large cake available too, if you’re lucky. Seasonal specials are available throughout the year – the ‘snowy road’ take on rocky road was my favourite at Christmas time (white chocolate and ginger spiced biscuits), and I’m very much looking forward to trying a hot cross bun a bit closer to Good Friday.
The one staple bake that’s always there is the triple chocolate cookie. Inspired by cookies sold by the Levain Bakery in NYC, they are the perfect balance of sweetness, softness and crisp. If you’re at Bom Bom at the right time, you’ll get your hands on a cookie straight from the oven. These are the best cookies to eat – collapsing in your hands as you break a piece off, you enjoy molten chocolate and warm dough as it melts away in your mouth. It’s an experience everyone should try at least once!
On the days when you require something a little more substantial, there are options for both breakfast and lunch.
Breakfast during the week is porridge with granola and fruit compôte. The porridge arrives in a red teacup accompanied by two little jugs – one holds a handful of fresh granola, and the other a few spoons of berry compôte made by Marta and her team. It’s warming, comforting and tastes just like a fruit crumble.
If you’re coming for lunch, you can choose one of the homemade soups or ciabattas. My favourite lunch order is the sweet potato, ginger and coconut milk soup. It’s creamy and filling and arrives in a red teacup like the porridge, but with two pieces of ciabatta on the saucer.
The food and the coffee at Bom Bom is delicious, every time that I go. But something that is apparent from the moment you first step into the coffee shop is its link to Loughborough’s community. It’s a place for students and academics, parents and their children, friends and families of all ages. Everyone is welcomed, no matter how busy or quiet the coffee shop is. That’s something else very noticeable about Bom Bom – even at the busiest times the atmosphere is never tetchy. Only lively and bustling or cosy and calm.
Even more so than Bom Bom’s delicious offerings, it’s this welcoming and acceptance I feel whenever I’m there that gets me going back again and again. I feel like I can leave anything dark I’m carrying at the door and just be safe from it while I’m sitting inside. Whenever my day isn’t going to plan, or even when it is, a trip to Bom Bom is often what keeps me afloat.
With only a few months left in Loughborough I plan to be visiting Bom Bom on a regular basis. I still have lots of baked goods to try, including the Saturday morning breakfast waffles! I am already looking forward to picking up my graduation cake in July, too.
If anyone from Bom Bom ends up reading this, I just want to say you’re playing a big part in getting me through one of the tougher years of my life with coffee, cakes and friendship. Thank you!