One of the perks of being a blogger is that we get invited to a lot of events such as restaurant openings, launches and to sample revamped menus. We were recently contacted by the team at BEAR to visit their newest store in Stone, Staffordshire to sample their brunch menu. If you have not been to Stone, it is a lovely market town just 7 miles north of Stafford. Located on the High Street in a property which was previously the old HSBC Bank, the architecture of the building looks stunning from the outside. This is their third store, with Uttoxeter and Derby being the earlier stores which have been successful. BEAR is aiming to be more than just a coffee shop and hopes to set out to be a refreshing alternative to the traditional pub or bar which is more common.
Walking into the store, is felt really welcoming… the interior decorations are beautiful and very earthy. They have designed to incorporate and preserve many of the site’s authentic features such as the original parquet flooring and introduced warm tones to give the place a more airy, modern and clean look. We loved how they used the space well with lots of cosy nooks and large social tables, as well as a secluded mezzanine space that’s almost too easy to settle in to.
They offer speciality coffee, signature cocktails and craft beer accompanied by all-day dining. From breakfast to brunch to lunch and finally dinner. If you like strong coffee, we would recommend ordering the Americano
To start off our brunch meal, we ordered Baked Eggs which consisted of tomato and red pepper ragu, baked eggs, feta, tahini and flatbread which was priced at £7.50. This was our favourite dish and I know for certain this would be something we would order again. All the ingredients in the baked eggs was totally delish and it did not feel too rich as all. Serving flatbread with the dish is such a great idea, we only wished our bread was warm and soft as it turned hard and rubbery very quickly.
We also ordered French Toast with lemon cheesecake. Priced at £7 the dish looked stunning when it arrived. We could not see any cheesecake with it but soon realised that it was the drizzle on the top of the bread. The flavours were great and the raspberry sauce went well with the bread. Again, we did not feel the bread was warm enough when we ate it (although we have to mention that it was a cold day and the doors of the restaurant was open so maybe our dishes got cold quicker than normal) in addition….a selection of fresh fruits and berries with the french toast would have pushed the dish a notch up.
The atmosphere at BEAR was lovely! It was one of those places where you could head there for breakfast on your own, lunch with friends or dinner with a loved one and you would fit in ever so nicely. The place was atmospheric, the staff friendly and the decor was inviting. We also had a chance to speak to Craig, one of the owners and totally loved their ethos of understanding about the freshness of the ingredients and knowing where it comes from to how it’s prepared and served.
BEAR does serve some good side dishes which are available all day….and if you ever have the chance, do try out three of these dishes, the grilled halloumi (£2.50), smashed avocados and sumac (£4) and streaky bacon (£4). The side dishes tasted amazing and we finished our plates clean. The avocado tasted rich and wholesome, served with the pickled onions …if you love avocado then this would be great on toasted bread, while the halloumi was delicious. The streaky bacon was well cooked and crispy as well.
BEAR is certainly a great place to chill out with family or friends, especially since it opens at 7am on most mornings (except for Sundays where it opens at 9am). I personally find it hard finding a good local and homegrown coffee place to relax and unwind with a book and I am glad I have found BEAR.
BEAR was conceived out of a passion, not just to offer great coffee, but also to create a comfortable environment in which to enjoy it. Founded in 2014, it was the realisation of a vision that co-founder Craig Bunting had in Australia whilst enjoying such an experience and wondering why he was unable to do so back in the UK.
Craig shared his vision with an old school friend Michael Thorley and the pair, both with the same love for coffee and a keen sense of adventure, set about researching the market, learning about the product and developing their skills with a view to creating something special.
The entrepreneurial pair identified a gap in the UK market, specifically in market towns and cities around the Midlands where there was nothing competing with the large chains – they decided to open a single site in their hometown as a concept, allowing them to fine-tune a model that could be rolled out throughout the UK and internationally. It all started with a coffee…
Where is BEAR Stone Cafe?
BEAR, 57, High St, Stone ST15 8AH
Tel: 01785 819053
What are their Opening Hours?
Mon to Wed from 7am until 9pm
Thu to Sat from 7am until 11pm
Sunday 9am until 5pm
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*We were invited to BEAR for the launch in return for a feature. Unmarked photos from BEAR. All opinions are our own.