PackThePJs is a family travel blog. Two members of our family are Jack and Izzy, our slightly stubborn English Springer Spaniels; they often travel with us. On a recent visit ‘home’ to Aberystwyth, we stumbled upon Sophie Bach … and the dogs loved it!
Aberystwyth is a coastal town in mid-Wales. When you look at a map of Wales, the big ‘bite’ out of it’s side is Cardigan Bay – and Aberystwyth is exactly in the middle of the bite. We are very fond of Aber, because we lived in nearby Borth for over 5 years; Millie-Mae was born in Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth. We return as often as we can; this recent visit was to show Millie-Mae a bit of her birth town as she was only 3 months old when we moved to Cambridgeshire.
When Millie was born, within 8 hours of her birth she was out shopping with me! All the baby clothes we bought her were too large, so we went to M&Co to stock up on some smaller sized outfits. It was a lovely, bright September and I remember pushing the Bugaboo for the very first time 🙂
A lot has changed since we moved away – 11 years ago now. The University has expanded, and this has brought a definite café culture to the town. Big brand stores have moved in too; but at the moment the local independent stores are holding on. It’s these stores that add charm to the town, so I hope they remain.
You may be wondering what Sophie Bach is? We took a stroll around the town with Jack and Izzy. It was a cold October day. The children wanted hot chocolate; we wanted coffee. We could have gone inside a pub, but we wanted a coffee shop. Most coffee shops in Aber don’t allow dogs – it was FAR too chilly to sit outside with Jack and Izzy. But then we stumbled across Sophie Bach.
Sophie Bach is a dog friendly coffee shop, in the town centre, close to the train station. It’s only a small café and as we approached we feared there’d be no space for us. But fate was on our side as a group left in front of us – with their pet Westie.
Inside, it was really welcoming. Mis-matched furniture – tables and chairs and comfy sofas and coffee tables. On the walls were portraits of dogs. There were portraits of dogs on cushions.
On the tables were tins full of dog biscuits. A menu, just for your dog, was on the wall!
Dog tea … dog biscuits … dog beer … dog ‘pawsecco’ … doggy donuts … doggy lollies … and also dog ice cream! Jack and Izzy loved it!
For Humans Too …
It’s not all about the dogs; canines can bring their humans in too – and there’s a lovely choice of drinks, cakes and meals. On our visit we only had time for cake and hot chocolate, but it was very yummy. A couple on a table nearby ordered a jacket potato and a bowl of hot Cawl (Welsh stew); it looked very appetising.
The two ladies who run Sophie Bach were really friendly. You felt welcomed as soon as you walked through the door (quite a rare feeling when you have two dogs with you!) When Huw went off to check out Charlies (a hardware store that’s been in Aberystwyth forever) the café owners chatted to me and the kids, which was nice.
Our short visit was the perfect end to a busy day exploring Aberystwyth. Don’t leave your four-legged friends at home next time you’re heading into Aber – make a point of stopping off at Sophie Bach’s for lunch, or coffee and cake. Or maybe Fido fancies a beer and donut …
Sophie Bach is located at 13 Cambrian Place, Aberystwyth SY23 1NT. Visit their Facebook page here.