Tim Burgess at Paper Cup Coffee, Liverpool

How the story began

When Paper Cup Coffee opened in early 2022 I really liked the look of everything they were doing and made the trip to Liverpool to see them which I wrote about here.

It was a new part of the Paper Cup Project in Liverpool. The coffee shop offered training for people who had experienced homelessness, and there was a pay it forward option where you can pay the cost of a hot drink to be redeemed by a person experiencing homelessness.

It was also just a great café serving lovely coffee and food and huge colourful pastries like this cruffin.

One day they tweeted that they were having a slow day and put the call out asking for support.

I tweeted this at Frank Cottrell-Boyce hoping he might retweet.

I didn’t expect what came next. Frank paid forward 100 coffees for customers to come in and discover Paper Cup and get a free coffee and obviously this created a great buzz.

Then later to celebrate a piece of writing he was really happy with he did it again and paid forward another batch of coffees. #FranksCoffees had truly become a thing.

Another famous supporter Paper Cup had on Twitter was Tim Burgess from the band The Charlatans.

He paid forward a batch of coffees, and then said he would come and work a shift in the cafe which I didn’t completely believe would come to pass!

Tim Burgess, barista

It was really nice to arrive and see this sign outside about Tim’s event.

Inside the cafe the Christmas tree was up and there were Christmas cards on sale from HomeLess Made created by people experiencing homelessness, and special festive pay it forward present packages such as socks or chocolate.

There was also a stack of Tim’s book The Listening Party: Volume 2 for fans to get a signed copy, with all proceeds going to Paper Cup.

#TimsTwitterListeningParty became an incredible cultural phenomenon during lockdown. He is cooler than my mind can even fathom and it is wonderful for Paper Cup to have his support.

Master barista Dan showed Tim the ropes.

Of course I got the special of the day – Tim’s Toffee Latte.

Coincidentally a customer brought in this adorable dog… named Toffee!

Frank Cottrell-Boyce popped in too and here he is talking to the founder of Paper Cup (and a total powerhouse and queen) Michelle.

Walking around Albert Dock

In the afternoon I walked round to the Royal Albert Dock and went into the Museum of Liverpool.

There are some sculptures outside and the lady in the shop explained to me they are smaller versions of the Superlambanana. This was a huge sculpture created by artist Taro Chiezo for Liverpool in 1998, a cross between a lamb and a banana, as bananas and lambs both used to be common cargo on the dock.

You can see it on the card in the bottom right here next to some other cards I loved featuring seagulls and Crosby Beach.

I bought this tote bag which has the Superlambanana on it, and this little glass heart for luck.

The last time I visited Liverpool I bought a tote bag from cool shop The Nest as you will have seen on the blog so I made sure to go and see them again.

It was the first day of December and there was a grey fog over the Mersey and it was super quiet, just this couple. How lovely 🙂

Christmas Market

I walked back towards Lime Street to be ready for my train.

It was dark by this time and the Liverpool Christmas Market around St George’s Hall was lit up and open for the evening.

There was a great vibe. They were playing songs like Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’, which seemed the perfect soundtrack for my walkabout.

Next Trip to Liverpool

This was such an amazing day. I can’t wait to go back to Liverpool.

Who will be the next star to come to Paper Cup and train with Dan for the day?!

One of my highlights of the day was seeing homeless friends come in and take a table for a coffee and some food the same as all of us.

If you can, please pay forward a coffee at Paper Cup via their online link.


Liverpool Special ✨

Paper Cup Coffee is a new part of Liverpool-based charity The Paper Cup Project and offers training for people who have experienced homelessness.

I’ve heard great things since their recent opening and it was mainly to see them I made this trip to Liverpool.

Fortunately they did not disappoint!

Here is the cabinet of their famous cruffins and colourful croissants.

They had Skimmed Milk so I was able to have a nice Skinny Cappuccino.

Someone was having pancakes with fresh blueberries, banana and cream and you can see the good quality food is drawing people in specially.

The café is airy and spacious, and the customer service is really friendly too. I left my hat behind and they got in touch with me via the blog – I went back and got it before the end of the day!

Homebaked Bakery is a community-owned bakery famous for its award-winning pies, right by Anfield stadium. I would love to have visited there but thought it was probably too much for one day. So I went to their new second site inside St George’s Hall.

The café is a charming space inside this grand building, and the exhibition The History Whisperer looks very interesting.

I didn’t try one of the famous pies sadly! The vegetarian ones had just gone in the oven for half an hour. I had a cinnamon swirl instead and a black coffee as they didn’t have Skimmed Milk.

Again this was really nice coffee – I’d happily go to either of these places again.

I couldn’t visit Liverpool without paying a visit to the Lush Liverpool Spa – the largest Lush in the world, with services including the Lush Hair Lab.

I discovered they even have a coffee bar inside!

Then I went round to the Royal Albert Dock.

I think it’s an incredible thing that Liverpool has an International Slavery Museum.

The Maritime Museum looks really interesting too.

On my list to see was a shop called The Nest. This was really lovely and I bought this bag and could not wait to put my things in it!

I popped my head into Rough Hand Made bakery and – as well as giant white chocolate croissants – they have a photo competition/VIP wall of dog visitors!

I went on to Bold Street. Bold Street Coffee was on my list, but it was really buzzing and I didn’t really want to sit in on my own.

Bold Street is apparently renowned for timeslips, and I had a good tip as to where the gateway was – but alas I still seem to be here as normal…

I had to get back for my train at Lime Street so just popped my head into the Walker Art Gallery.

Lots of reasons to go back to Liverpool then, including

  1. Have a Homebaked pie, especially at Anfield
  2. I forgot to pay a coffee forward at Paper Cup – I’m really sorry!
  3. Make it through the Bold Street time portal

Can I come back very soon please? ❤


BBC Children in Need at Greggs

I love the Countryfile Ramble for BBC Children in Need which always presents some incredibly inspiring stories.

Greggs and BBC Children in Need celebrate their 15th year of partnership in 2021.

There is some Pudsey merchandise available to buy in store.

They also have Pudsey – and his friend Blush – cakes and biscuits.

I picked up a Vegan Sausage Roll while I was there.

You can also donate to the Greggs Foundation in purchasing the Jammy Heart biscuit.

The BBC Children in Need Appeal Show is on 19th November.


Animal SOS Sri Lanka

I had to go to a work event in Chingford and was having a look around the area.

As you know I have taken an interest in dog ornaments in charity shops. So I was pleased to walk past this wonderful pair!

Then I saw this was an animal charity shop.

Inside I met Kim Cooling, the founder of Animal SOS Sri Lanka. Her vision and commitment is incredible.

The shop itself is really well-run and has lots of great clothes, books, records, DVDs, ornaments, crockery and more.

And there were even more super dog ornaments!

I took a copy of their newsletter and gave them a donation for it.

I also went to Caffè Nero for a Skinny Latte (I find their Cappuccino a bit strong) with some shortbread biscuits.

A super day!


Moomin Coffee at Walthamstow Wetlands

I really enjoyed this day at Walthamstow Wetlands.

There is an Exhibition The Woman Who Fell In Love With An Island about Tove Jansson and a Moomin trail.

I hadn’t been sure about going to this because the connection between Walthamstow Wetlands and the Moomins seemed a bit loose.

But once I was there, it was so apt. I really loved it. You could feel the tranquillity and sense of freedom Tove Jansson and the Moomins sought.

The exhibition explains beautifully where the title quote comes from, and I liked one photo in particular of her with a bird.

There are multiple reservoirs and islands at the wetlands, including Heron Island.

I went into the café and showed the man working there the Instagram picture I’d seen of the Moomin cappuccino someone had got there. He laughed and showed me the three different stencils – which one did I want?

On a coffee note I do wish they had Skimmed milk available but like quite a few cafes they only have Semi-Skimmed.

Trails can be confusing and disappointing but I would strongly congratulate the curators of this one.

Entry is free, you can make a contactless donation and there is a nice gift shop.

I didn’t sight many birds but I met @wilder_action around the site and he said it was a bit windy for them that day.

Walthamstow Wetlands hold a lot of free walks and tours and it’s a wonderful place to learn so it’s great to support them.