OUR riverside is an area bursting with potential. Lined with rustic buildings overlooking vast rural views beyond the Trent, it is yet another of Gainsborough’s grossly under-used assets.
It could become like the Brayford Pool in Lincoln - dotted with cafes, bars, restaurants, shops or just places to unwind.
Still, for now there’s one thing it’s good for - a nice quiet stroll.
As I made my way along the banks of the Trent past flats and some derelict empty buildings and warehouses, I found myself pleasantly surprised.
Where I expected to see the boarded up facade of the sadly departed Cafe 54 which closed down some months ago, I found someone else had moved in and given it a facelift.
Reed’s Coffee Shop on Bridge Street is the perfect place for a riverside snack.
With a clean and contemporary decor, complete with calming colours and modern furnishings, not only is it like a breath of fresh air but it’s the perfect place to unwind and relax. You can leave the kids in the small activity area while you sit back with a coffee and something from their wide range of books and newspapers. It seems like every detail has been tended to. They offer a great range of Belaroma Brazilian coffee and all pork is sourced locally from the award-winning Redhill Farm.
Their menu is simple but impressive, with a wide variety of fresh and toasted sandwiches, jacket potatoes, salads and cakes - plus I’m told they do a mean breakfast. What makes it better is the utterly unbeatable value.
I was torn between a Lincolnshire lunch and a good old-fashioned Ploughman’s, but went for the latter as I had a large hole to fill.
I also ordered a cappuccino, and boy am I glad I did. Creamy, rich and full of flavour, I can honestly say it’s one of the best coffees I’ve had in town.
My Ploughman’s lunch arrived swiftly and with a smile. The mix of mild and mature cheddars were delightful, the Redhill Farm pork pie was as excellent as its reputation would have you expect and the special granary bread was just lovely.
My only criticism was that it was a bit too plain and I could have done with a lot more pickle. But other than that, I was left impressed and certain to return.
One day, the full potential of the waterside by the Trent will be fully realised and it will become a thriving area of culture and fine dining. Until then, at least there’s one great reason to visit the riverside: Reed’s Coffee Shop.
By Andrew Trendell