New Cafe in Bookcase, Carlisle

Bookcase in Carlisle now has a cafe called ‘Cakes and Ale’. This means you can stay in the bookshop with something to eat and drink while you look over your purchases or consider your potential purchases before deciding. It’s a very civilised addition to a cornerstone of civilisation in the North West of England. Magnificent!

There is a gallery of this cavernous bookshop in a previous post.


If you’re visiting Carlisle, then you can also buy secondhand books from the equally excellent, only much smaller Oxfam Bookshop. You might even bump into my good self!

The other specialist secondhand outlet in Carlisle is the Eden Valley Hospice Bookshop. For new books, Carlisle sports Bookcase’s sibling, Bookends, and a large-ish Waterstones.

There’s a Discover Carlisle site for anyone interested in non-book attractions, such as places to stay, and most importantly, pubs!

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16 Responses to New Cafe in Bookcase, Carlisle

  1. Julia Lund says:

    I haven’t been in yet, but can’t wait to drop in for a coffee next time I’m in town.

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    • Jeff says:

      Hi Julia! My working hours don’t coincide well with their opening times so I did a stint of volunteering at the Oxfam bookshop and spent my afternoon in Bookcase. Nice to have a fix! Splashed out £23 on two large hardbacks. One of them was in fact a coffee table art volume published by the British Museum. Rather befitting.
      Have you made a wish list?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kaggsysbookishramblings says:

    Oh my! How lovely – particularly the record player! If I’m every up north I shall most definitely drop in! 🙂

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    • Jeff says:

      I’m glad they didn’t fall for the hipster cafe trend for projecting black and white classic films on a wall. Such things eventually get taken down, thankfully. An LP player gives scope for well selected ambience you won’t get anywhere else. Instrumentals are ideal for those of us who read while sipping away.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Stefanie says:

    That cake looks delicious and is making me hungry!

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    • Jeff says:

      I suppose the challenge for independent and secondhand bookshops that invest into any on-premises catering is that it risks overshadowing the books. Quite how you can make a great cake reflect on the greatness of your books, I don’t know. I guess that’s a longer-term challenge. You need to get as many people as possible in for the cake first. You’re right about this one btw.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ste J says:

    I may need to take a trip up your way sometime. Books and drink is pretty much how I spend my time anyway, I’ll be interested in your opinions in those ales as well.

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    • Jeff says:

      Haven’t tried the ales yet. The next Saturday I’m in the city I’ll try one. My worry is that a building that’s got ales and more secondhand books than you can shake a stick at is potentially hazardous. Perhaps I should write a post that asks readers here for some pretexts that I can call upon to get me out of the building!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Letizia says:

    What a great bookshop! And I always appreciate one that incorporates a cafe, where one can sit with one’s newly acquired purchases and have some of that delicious cake.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks to everyone for all lovely observations, and especially to Jeff for all blog posts! Cakes and Ale is going from strength to strength you’ll be pleased to know and we are getting return visitors( so something must be right!). There’s now a Facebook page and Twitter, tho’ there’s not much time to keep up to date with them- to be addressed.

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    • Jeff says:

      Thanks Gwenda. I concur about keeping up with social media. Been away for a few weeks myself. Glad to hear the cafe’s going well. It’s a terrific investment into your customers’ enjoyment of the shop.

      Like

  7. Pingback: Merger Enhances Possibly the Largest Secondhand Bookshop in the UK | Recent Items

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