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Tea, cake, wine, vintage clothes, live music…to quote the wonderful Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, ‘these are a few of my favourite things’. The Birdcage has each and every one of these bases covered, so it’ll come as no surprise that I bloody love it!
The Birdcage popped up a few months ago on the corner of Corn Street and Clare Street, and everyone I spoke to about it had nothing but great things to report. It took me a little while to actually get down and have a nosey around, despite it being a two minute walk from my office, but from the second I walked in the door I had a feeling it was going to live up to the hype.
Attention to detail is something The Birdcage does really well, and this is visible all the way through from the website to the custom printed wallpaper in the cafe. The walls are adorned with strategically placed oddities, choice pieces of stock from the vintage clothes section are artfully displayed as outfits that make you want to shout “I’ll take it all!” and I must have spent the majority of my first visit staring at the amazing light fixtures – who’d have thought that a bundle of lampshades that would out-date your nan could look so good?
The Birdcage’s motto is ‘Yesterday’s clothing, today’s coffee and tomorrow’s music’. I’m yet to have a proper rummage through the vintage clothes section, which is nestled in the corner of the cafe and you have to wander through to get the loos (very clever tactic guys!) but from what I’ve seen it’s good quality stuff with very little tat. I can, however, vouch for the coffee and the music.
I’m not a regular coffee drinker, and I’m certainly no expert (if you want to hear from someone who is then check out Henry’s ace coffee blog here) but the coffee I’ve tried in The Birdcage feels like ‘proper’ stuff. When I asked for a Caramel Macchiato I was reliably informed by the waitress that it was a ‘real’ Macchiato, and not a Starbucks imitation. This didn’t mean a lot to me so I nodded politely and agreed with everything she said. What I ended up with was a strong, sweet shot of caramel infused coffee, served in a tiny vintage espresso cup. Very tasty, very cool and very ‘Birdcage’. They also offer an impressive array of home made cakes from Bedmo based Crumpet Cakes and sandwiches from Chris at Workhouse Cafe, so it’s the perfect spot for lunch too.
Music wise there seems to be something for everyone. The last time I visited it was open mic night (every Wednesday) and there was some great talent on show – all acoustic, but all the perfect soundtrack to a glass of wine and a catch up with an old friend. The Birdcage also puts on theatre and comedy nights, as well as film screenings, complete with popcorn, nachos and hotdogs – nice!
So if, like us, you’re a sucker for anything a bit retro, then pop down to The Birdcage and immerse yourself in the self confessed ‘hang out of choice for the arty party and style set’. If you head down this weekend you can catch It’s Just Nice favourites The Marionettes, a 1940’s inspired three part harmony group from Bristol. The girls are performing at ‘the cage’ this Saturday 23rd March from 7pm, and will be performing all sorts of classics, as well as some modern songs with a retro twist. They’re absolute babes, and very talented ones at that, so pop down and check them out (in every sense of the word if you feel that way inclined!)