The Cotswold market town of Fairford, with its large school, plethora of takeaways and quaint cafes, seems to serve as a sort of ‘hub’ for the surrounding villages.
In the town exists a small café called 7a Coffee Shop, named after its numbered location on the Fairford’s London Street.
Owners, Simon and Lizzie, opened the friendly and welcoming 7a in December 2004. It has been a staple of the local community ever since, no doubt owing greatly to a particularly popular menu item: the 7a brownie.
Growing up in Fairford I visited 7a quite often. Probably too often. Definitely too often... I ate a lot of panini and brownies. The rare occasion that we had a snow day was the perfect opportunity to warm up with a white hot chocolate.
Lunches at 7a include plenty of options from sandwiches to jacket potatoes, with a key focus on some fantastic panini. There are some permanent fillings available, as well as daily specials. Bacon, Brie & Cranberry panini has always held a particular place in my heart, but their new vegan sausage roll is vying for a place - it's outrageously good.
However, with lots of delicious food and drinks on offer, it’s a testament to the 7a brownie that it is always the talking point.
In my opinion it is probably the gooiest – that’s a word apparently – and most decadent chocolate treat available outside of Belgium. From the classic plain and white choc chip varieties, to an assortment of changing chocolate bar and sweet treat fillings, there is something for everyone. Salted Caramel is probably (definitely) the best though.
If you don't believe my claims on their gooeyness (now I'm sure that one isn't a word), just look at the photos below. SO GOOEY.
Plus if you are gluten intolerant or vegan, they also sometimes stock an almond flour gluten free variety, as well as a vegan oreo version made with coconut oil.
They even offer the ability to order whole trays baked specifically with your choice of filling, something that has caught on as a wedding favour and dessert option for wedding receptions in the area.
The brownies have proved so popular amongst locals and visitors, that there is even map of where 7a brownies have travelled and been munched across the world, including Australia, the USA and even Antartica. We couldn’t resist ourselves, and took one along with us to the Blue Lagoon hot springs in Iceland!
Now, you can call me nostalgic for my younger days of brownies with my friends after school, and you would not be wrong. But make no mistake, that nostalgia doesn’t detract from the truth here;
7a Brownies are probably the best brownies in the world.