Hull has a wide range of cafes and coffee shops, from local independents to national chains. While people may argue over which are their favourites, there is also a hotly contested debate over which are the worst.
A look at Tripadvisor tells you what you need to know about Hull’s most lowly rated cafes. Right down at the bottom of the list, with a rating of 3 out of 5 after 31 reviews, is the Muffin Break in Princes Quay Shopping Centre.
Customers have complained on TripAdvisor of underwhelming food and some said they felt the staff were rude, but could this really be the worst coffee shop in the city? I made my way down to Princes Quay to visit Muffin Break and find out for myself.
Read more: All 73 shops that were in Princes Quay when it opened 31 years ago
When I arrived, I cast my eye around the room and found that the café – which has a food hygiene rating of 3/5 after an inspection last year, according to the official ratings.food.gov.uk website – appeared to be very clean and tidy. I headed to the counter to see if I would get a warm welcome.
As someone who has their own espresso machine, I consider myself a bit of a coffee aficionado (or snob, depending on how you look at it), so I was keen to see how their coffee would shape up. I ordered a flat white with soy milk and went to take my seat.
As for the staff, they certainly weren’t rude – the word I would use is efficient. There were certainly no wrathful baristas here!
When the coffee came, I was pleasantly surprised by how nice it looked, with some delicate foam art on the top. It was a bit bigger than your average flat white, but I hoped the size would be offset by the strength of the coffee, as I am not a fan of weak drinks.
When I had my first sip, I was really impressed with the taste. It was smooth and strong and without any burnt aftertaste – a very well-made cup of coffee.
I sat in peace and finished my drink, taking in my surroundings. I noticed the decorators had attached rolling pins to the light fittings in a bizarre, yet rather charming attempt at modern art.
The layout is economical and well-lit, but on a sunny day it’s actually quite pleasant to just sit there and see the people walking down the concourse of Princes Quay. Before leaving, I headed to the toilets and found everything clean and shiny.
Whatever experiences other people may have had, I have to say I enjoyed my visit and was very impressed with the coffee. It would seem that Hull’s worst-rated coffee shop on TripAdvisor may no longer deserving of the title.
So, next time you’re in Princes Quay and looking for a drink, why not give Muffin Break another shot? You might just be pleasantly surprised.