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The Socialight

Muddy says: We love, love, love this Stroud café for its super smooth Cornish coffee, full English platefuls of deliciousness and über sociable vibe.

roof terrace brick wall tables and chairs hanging plant birds

The brainchild of coffee lover Kelly Pitt, who acquired a taste for strong stuff while she was travelling abroad, The Socialight in a beautiful Regency building on Stroud’s High Street harks back to that era’s golden age of coffeehouses when London had some 3,000 of them full of men (alas, not women, of good repute anyway) swapping news, opinions, gossip and their latest works of literature. With no wifi over the two floors, this is a place to come and chat and, well, be sociable. Which feels like a lovely breath of fresh air. And you get that too on the amazing garden roof terrace which is the best suntrap when the clouds part.

The open-plan layout is conducive to conviviality and the coffee is something of a talking point. Sourced from Cornwall, it approximates Kelly’s favourite coffee from Costa Rica and is as smooth and rounded as a peach. There’s also a good line in tea, as well as smoothies, freak shakes and hot chocolate. And when it comes to food, well, you’ll be spoiled for breakfast, brunch and lunch – the full veggie breakfast is particularly legendary, sandwiches, soups and baked potatoes are yum and, if you’ve got space, they do incredible berry and banoffi waffle combos. You might need a doggy bag if your eyes are bigger than your stomach, but dogs are welcome too, so you can always share!

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Wiltshire