Tempting treats in a luxurious, fin-de siècle atmosphere have won one Lancashire coffee house a prestigious award for the second year running.

Whether it’s a quick snack, coffee and cakes or a luxurious lunch, Bramley’s coffee house and restaurant in Ormskirk has been serving delicious home cooked fare to the town’s discerning customers for decades.

So late on a drizzly Saturday afternoon, my son and I decided to take a little trip down to one of West Lancashire’s finest eateries to sample the wares.

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On the door is a notice, politely informing us that Bramley’s has a notched up the prestigious TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award for the second year, despite the challenges of the pandemic, placing it the top 10% of all businesses and attractions listed across the entirety of TripAdvisor. So, all in all, I figured it would be rude not to.

With a mouth-watering range of cakes on display as soon as you walk in, it was hard to choose, but I eventually opted for a huge slice of the coffee and walnut cake.

The chocolate fudge cake, meanwhile, was the dessert of choice for my son, served with hot chocolate sauce.

Coffee and walnut cake at Bramley's Coffee House in Ormskirk
Coffee and walnut cake at Bramley's Coffee House in Ormskirk

To accompany our fare, I had a deliciously decaffeinated cappuccino, complete with froth on top, while my son opted for a cool glass of apple juice

We could have gone for the succulent lemon drizzle cake, the delicious looking caramel short bread or the Bakewell slice.

Tempting savoury snacks on offer include the chef’s homemade pate, homemade Thai fishcakes and Greek houmous, while mouth-watering main meals include traditional winter staples such as lasagne, Traditional Welsh rarebit, steak baguette and spicy chilli con carne.

Chocolate fudge cake at Bramley's Coffee House in Ormskirk
Chocolate fudge cake at Bramley's Coffee House in Ormskirk

Meanwhile, anyone who fancies an all-day breakfast, avocado brunches, sandwiches or simple tea and toast is also in good hands.

The glinting array of wines, prosecco and champagne bottles arranged at the counter caught my eye along with the gorgeous range of home chutneys, jams and pickles sold over the counter, but it was late afternoon, so I settled for the coffee and cake option.

Surrounded by soft furnishings, traditional tables and French pictures, Bramley’s has always been known for its homely touch and fin de siècle elegance. With a giant multi coloured mural of Ormskirk painted by local school children adorning a wall, Bramley’s is very much a part of the community in Ormskirk.

A glinting array of wines at Bramley's Coffee House in Ormskirk
A glinting array of wines at Bramley's Coffee House in Ormskirk

With incredible foresight, Christine Trill, joint owner with her husband, Graham, and twin sons, Tom and Sam, switched to delivering food days before the first lockdown fell in March 2020 - sending delicious afternoon teas in gift boxes to customers who’d booked in for Mothers’ Day.

“They are packed as gifts, with ribbons and confetti,” she says. “We did it on Mothers’ Day 2020, as we had so many people booked in, and we just didn’t want to let them down. We did about 150 that day, to people who either had them delivered or picked them up.”

From there, Bramley’s continued to deliver its much-loved home cooked treats to customers and achieving its first Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice award in April 2020.

“We did afternoon teas. It was huge - and we are still going with them now,” she adds. “They’re all home made cakes and sandwiches, and they do look lovely.”

Giant mural depicting Ormskirk at Bramley's Coffee House in Ormskirk
Giant mural depicting Ormskirk at Bramley's Coffee House in Ormskirk

An average Saturday can see at least 350 meals being served up, whether afternoon teas, snacks, luxurious lunches or breakfasts, to name but a few.

Christine said: “We do afternoon teas, all day breakfasts, main meals, baby showers and christenings on Sundays – you name it, we do it. It’s a case of what don’t we do?”

A much-loved, well-known eatery located in Ormskirk’s elegant Church Walks, Bramley’s was a much-loved haunt of older people and ‘practically an institution’ in the town.

The new owners have added their own touches and brought it up to date with softer décor and a streamlined menu to appeal to a range of people.

Yet since taking over the reins in September 2017, Christine has added a few changes by adding some more soft furnishings, which blend with the Covid screens.

Christine Trill, joint owner of Bramley's Coffee House in Ormskirk
Christine Trill, joint owner of Bramley's Coffee House in Ormskirk

Despite the challenges of steering the ship through the pandemic, she says the family run and owned business has been ‘a labour of love.’

She said: “It’s a labour of love, and we do it because we love it. When we took Bramley’s on, it just needed a big hug and bringing back to life. Now we’ve got a broad spectrum of customers, from teenagers to students, to older people. And we invest in staff – that is a big thing. We want our staff to feel looked after – it’s like a family.”

Bramley’s Coffee House is based at Church Walk, Ormskirk, L39 3QS.

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