Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Cafe Review: Cabosse, Warkworth

There are a few things I should tell you about Cabosse, although only one thing I really want to, such is the singular, opulent brilliance of the item in question. But, in the interests of utility and context, let's set the scene a little first.

Cabosse lives in the almost opressively pretty town of Warkworth. Replete with English Heritage-run castle, and nestled within a bend of the river Coquet, it's the kind of place where 5-star rated holiday cottages appear to outnumber regular dwellings and yet, one imagines, might also support a thriving WI membership. The post office/shop is light on things you might need to live a day-to-day existence, but has a startlingly good selection of local conserves. It's about a half hour's stagger from the caravan Kasia's family have on the coast and so, when in this part of the world, we're frequent visitors, often shambling along the attractive riverside to find a likely spot for a packed lunch.

And Cabosse offers many fine things with which to pack one, being the creations of Louise Frederique. Before pitching up here she spent time working with Rick Stein, at that venerable institution Betty's and studied at the Cordon Bleu school in Paris. The chocolates, I can vouch from previous experience, are good. The coffee is excellent. Only filter is offered but that's fine by me; decent filter coffee is much preferable to a half-arsed latte. Ice cream is available and I'm sure is high quality. The cakes and tarts all look delicious. You can take out or grab a seat in the cafe out back.

But the thing I want to rave about is the almond and chocolate croissant. I mean, bloody hell, just look at the thing. The first clue that you're dealing with something a bit special comes when you pick the devil up. It's heavier than you expect, like lead or something. Christ, how much butter is in this? you ask yourself. And then...

Layer after sweet layer of butter-enriched flakiness gives way to a central zone in which resides a great rude wodge of marzipan-style almond paste. Here and there are streaks of right-on-the-point-of-melting high cocoa chocolate. The undergirth is a riotous blast of crunchy caramelised sugar and dairy. If you can get through one of these without muttering at least 50% of your repertoire of swear words as you shake your head in wonderment I'd be very surprised. There's something fantastic about watching, hearing, or indeed eating, something that is very hard to do but has been done as close to perfect as makes no difference. This is one of those things.

£3.45 may just be the most I've ever spent on a croissant, but by Toutatis I'd pay more. Ambosia isn't supposed to come cheaply. By all means feel free to try out the selection of sarnies, cakes, chocolates or ice creams that they serve here, I'm sure they'll all be fine, maybe even excellent. But make sure to arrive early enough in the day that they haven't run out of almond and chocolate croissant. You absolutely owe it to yourself.

10/10 for the almond and choc croissant. Obvs.

Cabosse, 5 Dial Place, Warkworth, NE65 0UR


  1. What a lovely place to visit. This would be more my choice of eating out than some of those fancy restaurants you have reviewed!! I do love quaint and homely

  2. The whole of this stretch of Northumberland is gorgeous, well worth exploring.

  3. Wow, almond and chocolate croissant sounds amazing and this place looks lovely. I will definitely have to add it to my list.

    1. If you're in that part of the world, it's a winner!

  4. Hello, I own cabosse and was very flattered by your review. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm. Take care, louise


All comments gratefully received. Sorry about the word verification thing, but I've started getting bombed by spam.

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