Genuine & Generous
Child friendly, with wooden floors and furniture and a stripped-back, understated simplicity, Copa House is a genuine family business. Mum runs front of house, big sister cooks and bakes extraordinary cakes, little sis helps out when back from uni and dad does the paperwork. A miniature exhibition of framed posters enlivened the walls when we were there last.
Copa House uses local milk and sells local ice cream in exotic flavours – wild cherry, lemon meringue, gingerbread – from a window onto the backstreet in summer. If the cafe looks full there are more tables upstairs.
The salads at Copa House are like you’d make at home. No skimping on the nice bits and no limp leaves in sight. The vegetarian nachos (£6.25) is large, with very generous portions of rich tomato salsa, guacamole and sour cream – great for dipping and sharing. Baked potatoes are under £4, as are grilled sandwiches, baguettes and ciabatta. Fillings can be chosen from a medley of cheeses, prawns, tuna, ham, olives, fresh vegetables and hummus. Cold sandwiches are £2.80, small veggie snack plates are around the same price. Homemade soup is £2.75, a little more with bread, and a soup/sandwich combo is £4.75. Everything is freshly prepared and the hot food arrives piping hot.
Smoothies, milkshakes, coffees, teas and cocoa are all very reasonably priced and made with care. A fairtrade hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream is under £2, a fresh fruit smoothie under £3. Half-sized drinks for kids are roughly half price and children’s sandwiches are just £1.75; kiddie cheese or beans on toast is £1.20-£1.30. Simple packed lunches (£4, with drink) can be picked up on your way for a hike, or a picnic.
Cakes are the Copa House speciality and are baked on the premises throughout the day. Amber has a great repertoire of divine confectionery. Raspberry marzipan slice surprised us with its moist complexity; chocolate and cherry cheesecake was indulgent and as good as it sounds. Coffee with “cake of the day” is a good deal, at £3.60, otherwise a slice is £2-£3 (or 75p for a deliberately crooked jam tart, just like my mum used to make). Whole cakes, skilfully decorated to your own specifications, can be ordered for special occasions.