Let's hear it for the big chains!

I feel a little guilty when I go in the big chains coffee bars and try to keep frequenting the smaller family run cafes as much as I can but sometimes I just need a Costa cortado or flat white! Small but strong, they are amazing! I always ordered Filter coffee which progressed to Americano. Now I love Flat whites. I find lattes too milky so only really order them if they are flavoured. I am trying to be good cakewise so their little Lindt chocs are fab for that! I have asked for a few marshmallows or a flake they put in hot chocs too. For when you need a little sweetness to contrast to the bitter but good coffee. We find the M and S cafes are good for this with their shortbread biscuit on your saucer.

We go to many Costas including the two in Barnsley and I know the friendly staff now. I was sad to see the manager leave Barnsley to go to Hoyland but will pop there to see her. The Costa at Manvers is very friendly too. What is great about this chain is you know that anywhere you go, you will not go wrong with a Costa. We used to go to Park Gate and we've been to the Meadowhall ones a few times. They are all good there too.

There are new ones popping up all over and we love the one at Wakefield Trinity Walk and the one opposite the cinema. It's great to sit outside these with the dogs. We even call at Woolley motorway services and sit outside with our coffee whilst watching the busy traffic go by. There are some right views from here. We call at the M and S and I like to look at the books on offer in WhSmith. We try to walk past the Krispy Creme donuts but we don't manage this every time!

As you walk in the door there are those massage chairs so we sometimes have a go. It is a bit weird as folk are rushing past you as your back is being manipulated, resulting in your chest heaving ever so slightly! Our newest find are the Costas at Fox Valley and we go to both. One is in the department store. We love to sit outside with the dogs but it's mainly always windy there so we wrap up warm!

I love everything they sell in Costa. I am a savoury person though so will always go for the croissant or the wrap. If I'm choosing sweet though, I love the millionaire shortbread or the almond slice which are very moreish! It is a great place to meet up with a friend for a catch up because you know you'll both like it! They do a book sale too but I keep forgetting to look! Just like I keep forgetting to bring my Costa card so keep losing points! What do points make? Prizes!

We are lucky in Barnsley to have two in the town centre and I go to both sometimes, just me and my book. It's nice and quiet in the upstairs part of the town end Costa. They had a barista night here but I missed it. I'm looking out for the next as I'd love to have a go on those massive, shiny machines! They also had a quiz night too. I kept bumping into a friend there on my way home from work. She was carrying her book too, hoping for a bit of quiet. We knew once we got chatting, the books would go away! This place at the town end is a great meeting place and we've had a few slighty noisy gatherings towards the end of the day when it was just us left. Good times!
I always remember a friend's child saying,
"We're going to Costa? My dad calls that Costa Fortune!"
We laughed and still went!

I love the seasonal drinks and foods, especially the summer fruit coolers and smoothie. I've only tried a frappucino once but will stick to hot coffee! My fave seasonal drinks are the Christmas ones. I love the gingerbread lattes with a gingerbread man propped on top of the cream and the cinnamon lattes. Their stollen slice is gorgeous too. I had a latte with a candied orange and cream on top too. Yummy!

We've noticed lots of little Costa machines popping up in garages and shops which is great. I even noticed the hospital restaurant sells Costa but unfortunately we could not have one on our last visit due to the power cut so I indulged on the way home at one of the shops with those monsters of a machine! Nothing gets between me and my coffee! Whether it's creamy, chocco, mocha, frappe latte or just a plain old simple but very effective filter coffee!


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