GUEST BLOG: The Coventry Caffeine Hit

FarGo Village has become the “go to” area of Coventry for independent business and creatives over the past few years. Most weekends there is an event, a market or something interesting going on. The creative quarter is set inside re-purposed industrial buildings close to Gosford Green on the East of the City center.

FarGo Village embraces its urban setting by showcasing local street artist, and every service reflects the colour, diversity and history of the city. I’m sure there will be plenty of further developments as Coventry has won the honor of being City of Culture 2021.

This was the first Coffee Festival in Coventry, and I sure given the popularity of the event, I’m sure won’t be the last. The Box, FarGo was a good venue for the event, though it felt like there should have been a few more companies that could have been fitted in.

As for me, I had a special interest in the event. I am very passionate about my coffee, and even worked as a barista, cafe manager, and a chef in the past. I have been on the other side of the machine and I understand the intricacies, the precision, and the long journey involved in creating that perfect cup of coffee. I enjoy the differences and the nuances within flavours that make the difference between a good and a great coffee. I love the fact that the way milk is managed can make or break a cup of coffee, and that it is such a fine balance between quality, skill and equipment to create the black magic that is coffee. I love coffee, it is one of my passions, so I went into this with verve and enthusiasum, and I was not disappointed!

There was a crowd around the Java Lounge stall at the entrance to the room, as the barista was demonstrating latte art. Their latte art is showcased on instagram, and they seem to specialise in adding colourings into their milk to create weird and wonderful art on top of their coffees. They have a strong following on Instagram because of their unusual images. Java lounge were one of the sponsors for the event, so a big thank you to them. But there coffee itself is not to be ignored beneath the fluff of the milk foam.

The two house blends were also being showcased, as filter coffee, and I got to sample them while chatting to one of the barista.

There wasn’t just standard coffee and cows milk on offer. I was glad to see that Minor figures, an Oat milk and coffee artisan held up the ethical side of the areas. Within FarGo, there is a vegan cafe ( Totally Vegan), and Backhaus who ethically source their supplies.

I generally hate cold brew. Most coffee shops offer mediocre rubbish and charge a fortune for this latest fad. But the latest trend is to stock cans of great quality tasty nitro cold brew. This is the best one I’ve had. It is smooth, creamy and the flavour packs a punch! Even better I found the Cafe W inside Waterstones in Coventry stocks it! Made by Minor Figures, they also have a latte and mocha in the range. (Both which contain oat milk).

In addition, Minor Figures also make oatmilk based products, and have a dairy disloyalty card in coffee shops to celebrate world plant milk day. This is about changing the way people think about the dairy industry, and change their regular habits. It s also a great incentive for coffee shops to offer British made milks rather then the standard soya milk, which in itself also has a wide environmental impact.

The awesome bakers at Backhaus, always do stunning cakes, but this one maybe my favourite yet! This Orange chai cake was so packed with flavour! The icing was light and fluffy, as the surprise curd in the middle really added an extra zing! A perfect accomplishment to their Quarter Horse coffee! Based FarGo Village itself, The bake house is a cafe, bar, venue and has recently opened a cookery school. I personally love this place, the staff are fab, the food is stunning, and the social values of the enterprise are fabulous.

Backhaus also provided the entertainment for the day with their live stage which included several local acts. Here are some links if you fancy checking out some midlands base talent: ElkTrees and QueensStylusboyMixtape Saints.

One of my favourite coffees of the festival was the house espresso blend from New Era Coffee. This new rooster based in Birmingham have branded their coffee around their love of ska music, and are more then happy in Coventry where The Specials originated!

The espresso is gutsy and sweet, with a beautiful lingering after taste. It was the nicest milk free coffee of the day. Very impressive for a company that has only been going since January!

Another new start up that attended the Coffee Festival, was Kaffee Haus. With only a few months under their belts, these guys are hitting the ground running with three coffees. One which is a good decaffeinated blend, which had had the caffeine removed using the Swiss water method, meaning that no unnecessary chemicals have been used. With big plans for the future, I’m keeping an eye on this company!

If coffee wasn’t to everyone’s taste, there was also Born Wild Tea, and Queen of Camellias offiering ethical sourced teas, herbs and compost able packaging.

There were also a few other businesses in attendance such as Ed’s Coffee House, from Coventry Market, a Birmingham based cake maker and the Independent Coffee Club.

I was upset That local family run coffee house Bean and Leaf had to drop out at the last minute, as this is one of my favourite central Coventry cafes. They offer Guest coffee which changes seasonally to give you fantastic filter options like V60, Kalita, Aeropress and Clever Dripper, as well as their regular roasts from Caravan Coffee roaster. Hopefully they will be able to attend the next one!

All in all, the event was lively, friendly and very delicious! I came away feeling satisfied, happy and of course Caffeinated!

If you would like to check out the original blog, please click here to read more.
Check out @coventrylife on Facebook.
Check out @coventrylife on Instagram.

Member of Coventry Bloggers – FacebookTwitterInstagram

 

Why I’m so happy to have CrossFit at FarGo

A little over 18 months ago, we received an email from a guy called James with a surname we couldn’t pronounce.

He was enquiring about ‘warehouse space’ at the Village. It’s not something we have a lot of at FarGo and, historically, when people have enquired about this type of space it’s been for storage purposes or something equally uninspiring, so when I opened the email to read the word (words? Is it even in the dictionary??) CrossFit I was more than a little excited.

In fact, in checking back through my emails today, I saw that I had immediately forwarded James’ message on to my husband with the words “LOL! YAY!” (He had been going to Unit C: CrossFit Solihull for a while and was enjoying it. I had been struggling to get back to Solihull from work in time to join him, was attending sporadically and, if I’m honest, was struggling to get to know anyone there. So, this email was great news for me).

After a lot of to-ing and fro-over over how much space was too much space, would repeatedly chucking 9kg balls at the wall damage the structural integrity of the building, would it be a problem that the brewery was moving in next door and that when they’re brewing, you can sometimes smell the hops (all very important life questions of course) James and the Wildcard Team were signed up.

Waiting for them to open was like waiting for Christmas. And that’s an odd thing for me to say. I have never been into sport. Never really been that into exercise to be honest. Having hip dysplasia as a child had given me some problems with my knees and feet, which I then hid behind because I dreaded Games and P.E. lessons at school, and the thought of taking part in any form of competitive activity scared me. A lot.

But. Having seen how much my husband was enjoying Unit C, and having felt like I was struggling to integrate myself with a pre-formed community there, all of whom were significantly stronger, faster, fitter than me (they called themselves athletes… eek!), I had already decided that I would be the first person to join Wildcard. My thinking being that we would all be learning and getting to know each other at the same time. (P.S. I needn’t have worried about this…)

I’d been talking about this for WEEKS so by the time James was about ready to go, I’d rounded up (worn down?) all my Far Gosford Street friends and booked us onto a free taster class…

Our CrossFit Taster Session

Loved it. Signed up. The end.

No but seriously. I loved it. And have continued to love it for the last 9 months. So, back to the point of this piece. Why am I so happy to have CrossFit at FarGo?

– I’ve met a whole load of new people who genuinely like each other. And we all have something in common. In fact, we have many things in common because basically, if you like training here, you also LOVE eating and drinking (my fave pastime… CrossFit has not overtaken that just yet) and you LOVE buying new gym garms. This is great news for other on-site businesses like Positive Outlook who have worked with Wildcard to design and produce their branded apparel, and Twisted Barrel (the wonderful next door, sometimes hops smelling, onsite brewery and tap house)…

– …and great news for our events, because we have a ready-made group of people who all want to do a halloweeny-Dia-de-los-Muertos-style workout and then fill their bellies with Tacos and Tequila!

– I don’t think it’s like any other form of training. The community you get with CrossFit is what makes it. It’s that community that makes it the perfect fit for a place like FarGo Village. And the team spirit at Wildcard is always on point. As I said earlier, I needn’t have worried about being the first to join, because I would challenge anyone to walk in there now for the first time, as a seasoned pro or a complete novice, and not find a friendly face. And if you’re keen to try it but don’t believe me, let me know, I will come with you and we can be friends (that was meant to be sweet, not creepy…)

– It’s pushed me to try new things. Back in April I took part in my first ever competitive sporting activity: a ‘Quad Squad’ team comp. Again, I can’t stress enough how fun it is training as a group; as a community; as part of a team. We came last (sorry team…) but I loved it. Look at this cute pic.
Team CrossFit Fist Bump

– It’s meant my friends can now do pull-ups for the first time ever (I can’t yet… but it’s cool, I’m not jealous, I’ll get there… eventually…)

– Anyone can do it. I PROMISE. Everyone is good at something. You won’t be the best at everything, but that’s ok because I 100% guarantee you’ll have at least one thing that you can do that will surprise you. And other people will be genuinely pleased for you and fist bump you for it (yeah get ready for lots of fist bumps).

It’s got my Mum (yep I’ve even roped my Mum in, like I said everyone can do it!) training legs again for the first time after a knee injury and op.

– It’s made my bum look better in my jeans.

– And finally. This video. I love this video for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s my first three figure lift, and I was (and still am) absolutely buzzing to be able to lift 100kg. But more importantly, I love it because to begin with, it looks like it’s just me, training on my own, chilling with the barbell. But as soon as I’ve hit that lift, you see the others – the team, the community – who were cheering me on. Those three strong, fit, women who wanted me to succeed and were excited for me when I did. We all absolutely need more of this in life.

So, that’s it. Those are all the reasons why I’m so happy to have CrossFit at FarGo. You must try it. You will love it. You will love the way it makes you feel. And you will love us (that part isn’t strictly mandatory).

Come to a class. Your first one is free. Get in touch with the Wildcard Team and, seriously, if you want a friend, you know where to find me.

Spring has sprung- and soon we’ll be welcoming the Summer Makers Market!

A month ago, the first FarGo Makers Market was wrapping up- and what a weekend! Thousands joined us to welcome Spring in with some true FarGo artisanal style- and the sun almost came out too!

Shoppers were greeted at the Spring Makers Market with live music, cakes, and all the colours of Spring! We had some of the best makers, designers and artists from the local area, ready to welcome people to FarGo. With everything from artisan jewellery, ceramics, artworks, woodwork, and everything in between, it was an independent shoppers dream. It was all accompanied by Adam Kibble, and The Gloria Sunset Duo, playing everything from pop classics to rock’n’roll.

 

The streetfood was delicious! Cornography made everyones favourite corn on the cob, corn dog bites, and amazing nachos. We also had some fantastic vegan desserts from Cake Doctor– just what you need after a long morning shopping!

 

All the stalls were so good it’s hard to pick favourites. Some of the highlights had to include Seasonal Souls with her beautiful Spring inspired artwork, the fab fun jewellery from Frilly Industries, the amazingly delicate ceramics from Rolling Roses, and the most adorable tiny plants from The Cluttery– not forgetting the amazing psychedelic llama from Andrew J Mason, and the cutest pet rocks from Pie Art!

The Summer Makers Market is coming!

We’re very excited to announce the Summer Makers Market is coming! We’ve got the Summer edition coming up on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July- and we’re so excited! We’ve got more fab traders lined up. Some are returning for another fun weekend, and some brand new to FarGo, so make sure you follow the Facebook event for more details about traders, streetfood and performers!

For a sneak peak, we can reveal we have some fab fudge, concrete jewellery, tiny clay animals and much more from our talented traders, and even more great food from our friends Cornography! Keep you eyes peeled and stay up to date!

 

See you soon for a stroll in the sunshine!

 

Many thanks to Thompstone Photography for capturing our weekend!

FarGo Village Launch FarGo StrEat!

FarGo Village are launching their very own street food Friday event this Friday! On the last Friday of every month, FarGo Village are inviting some of the best street food traders to come together in Coventry and cook up a storm from 6pm – 11pm! There will be drinks, great music, delicious street food and a fab atmosphere- this is definitely the place to be on Friday night.

The first of FarGo StrEat was on Friday the 27th of April, we opened with our Pizza Festival! This event had a great turnout included street food from The Wandering Pizza Company, Bare Bones Pizza, Pizza Traders and Handmade Pizza Company. There was a range of toppings from classic Margherita, Cornish Brie & Caramelised Onion to a sweet Rocky Road pizza!

Event organiser Elyse Cadden says “We’re channelling London vibes where people can come to the village after work with their friends or work colleagues, grab some food, have a few drinks and have a great time! From pizza this weekend to tacos in October, everyone’s happy!”

After the Pizza Festival comes ‘Indian Takeaway’ on Friday the 25th of May, which will include all of your favourite Indian dishes!

FarGo StrEat event dates:

April 27thPizza Festival 
May 25thIndian Takeaway 
June 29th2Tone 
July 27thMediterrania 
August 31stBourbon & Soul 
September 28thAround the World
October 26thTaco’s & Tequila

FarGo Village Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/fargovillage.coventry/

FarGo Village Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fargovillagecov/

FarGo Village Twitter: https://twitter.com/FargoVillage

Guest Blog: FarGo’s Independent Gin Mini-Festival

I was invited to come along to FarGo’s very own Independent Gin Mini-Festival on Saturday 24th March. I’ve always been a fan of FarGo and what it stands for as they support small growing businesses and put on a wide variety of events from vegan festivals to beer festivals. FarGo is so diverse which I am sure helped Coventry to win The UK City of Culture for 2021. I am looking forward to seeing what they have planned.

When it comes to gin, of course I’m there! If you hadn’t already gathered, I am a HUGE lover of gin. This is something I’ve got into over the past year or so and now it’s almost always my alcoholic drink of choice. I loved the fact that this was an independent gin festival which showcased the best in gin surrounding the midlands area, opposed to the well known brands that we all know and love but get so used to drinking. What was great about this festival, was that there was no pressure to be a gin connoisseur, it was totally chilled, relaxed and you could have a chat with everyone.

First on my list to try was Burleigh’s Gin. I knew that the distillery is based in Loughborough, close to where I live, because a few of the local pubs sell Burleigh’s gin. I made sure I went for something totally new to me and tried the PINK edition gin.
It contains Japanese cherry blossom, hibiscus, rose and pink grapefruit. It was served with a Fever-Tree aromatic tonic and a garnish of pink grapefruit. I really loved how delicately sweet and floral this gin was having not tried anything like this before.

I then tried a (Minus) -33 gin cocktail which I think was called gin fizz. It was very citrus-y and oh so tasty! This gin is a botanical infused spirit that contains juniper, citrus, lavender and elderflower – a flavour combination I was a huge fan of! They had set up a cocktail station to look a bit like a laboratory which instantly attracted my eye, and everyone else’s it seemed as it was very popular!

Next was the Shakespeare Distillery gin. I love that they are trying to recapture the Tudor period of innovation by fusing traditional and in some cases forgotten ingredients with modern techniques.
I tried the Mulberry gin which is made by combining mulberries with Stratford Gin and leaving them to steep for a few months. It was served with prosecco and was utterly decadent with it’s very rich flavour. I am tempted to get myself a bottle as I love adding new flavours to my glass of bubbles!

Brockman’s Gin was a favourite of mine from the evening. Traditional notes of gin are combined with citrus and aromatic wild berries such as blueberries and blackberries. It was so smooth to drink and had the most wonderful flavour. It was served with fresh orange peel which really brought out the flavours in the gin. I definitely recommend this gin.

Lastly, I tried Sovereign Spirits, Elderflower and Gooseberry Liquer which was very syrup-y and sweet. That’s not to say I didn’t love it as it reminded me of elderflower cordial which I drink on a daily basis! It would be lovely to add this to a glass of sparkling wine.
Overall, I think FarGo did a pretty good job at selecting such varied gin distilleries across the Midlands. I was introduced to gins I had never heard of before and will definitely be supporting them over the bigger distilleries in the future. It was an evening filled with great chat, English culture and a hint of luxury. I will be talking about these gins for months!I also vlogged the event which you can view on my YouTube channel.
  FARGO
  FARGO
Check out the rest of Amber’s blog here: http://www.ambambe.com/
  FARGO
 FARGO
  FARGO

A Cheesey weekend in the snow!

The Cheese and Chutney festival at Fargo this weekend gave us so much more than its name! There were nuts, seasonings, turkish delight, local vegetable produce and meat pies to fill our minds and our stomachs. It really was a fully fledged farmer’s market in its own right and luckily it was all indoors so we could hide from the cold!

Every event that The Paneer Wrap Street Food Co attend, I always make sure to have a paneer wrap. Their samosas and wraps are to die for (and another thing that helped to warm my numb fingers!) Completely vegetarian and super yummy! You could also wash it down with a glass of prosecco if it took your fancy.

 

My fiance and I bought enough cheese and other goodies to stock out our fridge; some lovely fresh pesto from Springfield Kitchen who provided handmade natural chutneys too. We adore spicy things, so ended up with some chilli chutney too and some Chilli cheese from Nibble Nose. (What a cute name!)

 

Never fear if you are a vegan too! Good Carma provided us with some lovely flavour fusions and it was also the grand opening of a new location for Totally Vegan. There is always plenty for everyone at Fargo’s events and that’s why I love them. There were plenty of tasters at all the stands and new things to try – a Cheese-lover’s dream.

 

The suppliers, as always, were so lovely, approachable and informative and it was great to see such a good crowd forming as we head into springtime. All we need now is the weather!

 

Guest Post written by Amy of Writing Into The Ether. Photographs from Thompstone Photography.

#lovefargo this Spring

So the snow has gone and the sun is shining (well sort of) and we’re in a good mood.  Time to tell you all about Spring events at FarGo!

We’ve got a jam packed event schedule to keep you entertained from old favourites like Vintage in the Village to our own independent gin festival, dogs, cars and much more.

 

This weekend specially for Mothers Day we kick off with Vintage in the Village , open Sat 10th March 11. 00 – 6.00 and Sunday 11th March 11.00 – 4.00 with live music, performance and oodles of tea and cake.

Take a look through our spring events programme, we’re pretty sure you’ll find something you like!

A Chocolate celebration at FarGo Village!

As the snow is melting and there’s a hint of spring in the air, Fargo Village invited me to one of their first events of the year – Chocolate and Prosecco Weekend!

Aromas of melted chocolate filled the market hall and tempted me into buying fresh hot chocolate from MoreCocoa, to sip as I wandered around the wonderful array of treats. With live chocolate Easter Egg demonstrations from resident gourmet chocolatiers, Choc n Roll, everyone had a great time and learned a thing or two along the way!

I bought chocolates flavoured with essential oils, beautifully melt-in-the-mouth cookies from Whoopee Cookies… there were also brilliant Vegan cookie options from Wicked Cookies so I was sure to scoop a few of those up for my parents. I never realised just how many different ways there were to use chocolate and the variety provided by the vendors was amazing! A chocolate lover’s dream and a great way to spend an afternoon!

Although the prosecco seemed well appreciated by the other customers, I couldn’t partake due to me being our designated driver. It’s a mistake I won’t make for Fargo’s upcoming event Cheese and Chutney (just in case there’s wine too!)

Guest post written by Amy of WritingIntoTheEther.com

Thanks to Thompstone Photography for recording our weekend!

Is This Your Place To Be?

Calling all artists, crafters, designers, makers, foodies and… well you get the picture! If you are looking to start, grow or expand your independent business we have a range of spaces available at FarGo including shipping containers, studios and warehouses and we would LOVE to hear from you!

Email fargo@fargovillage.co.uk with your business ideas, photos and social media links.

Guest Blog: FarGo’s Third Birthday

First of all, a massive congratulations to FarGo and it’s team on their 3rd Birthday! As someone who has been visiting FarGo for the last 3 years and watched the place grow and build with its vendors and the public, it was great to see this vibrant place celebrating its success!

I love a good market and Fargo never disappoints when it comes to these kind of events. This Saturday was no exception with the regulars being joined by small local crafters which got me very intrigued for the Halloween Market in October!

Residents PopBangColour and special guests,Two Tone Taxi joined in the festivities as the Boudica festival (which celebrates the talents of young women in the music industry) was in full swing with live music through into the evening.

A great open mic session followed on the Sunday, to keep us chilled and singing along in the afternoon. Vegan Grindhouse and Red Banger supplied the food, and Bubble Boba was my chosen place to drink (as it often is!).

FarGo’s resident businesses are it’s soul, so I wanted to give some shout-outs to a few of the vendors. Firstly, to the Rock n Roller Parlour for providing me with the best hair styling I’ve rocked in years with a more comfortable and different experience than anywhere else in Coventry!

 Next, to the Big Comfy Bookshop, for providing a respite from the outside world; a place you can relax with that book you bought with a cup of tea before you need to get back to reality. Finally, to Ronnie whose great collection of bric a brac keeps us coming back every time just to see what camera, trinket or great vintage finds are in store!

Choc n Roll, Astral Gypsy, Not Just Jams, Albie’s Boutique, The Green Unicorn… there are just so many shops that I can’t mention them all… But on behalf of all the people who love Fargo, a big thank you to the Fargo management team and all of you for making it a great place to hang out and explore!

Here’s to further good times as Coventry heads towards it’s City of Culture Bid!

This post is part of our new series of guest blog posts from the lovely Amy at Writing into the Ether. You can check out her personal blog here.