Ever cancel on a friend just because you need to tackle a mountain of laundry? No, nor us. But it has meant our dirty clothes have piled up as we stay on top of our social life. Next time you’re faced with this choice, however, this cafe and laundrette in Stokes Croft means you can enjoy a coffee with friends as you tackle your chores.
Inspired by trips to Zambia – where the well is a community necessity for clothes washing and exchanging stories – At The Well is the brainchild of three sisters. They recognised the UK lacked places where the local community could gather like such. Especially with a friendly face on the other side of the counter. And so, for the last 10 years, they have served locals with a cappuccino and a chinwag while they wait for their clothes to clean.
A large wash will cost you £6 and an extra-large wash £9, while a dry can cost between £4 to £7.50. These community washing machines are self-service, but the friendly team are always on-hand to help. You can bring your own laundry detergent too, but there’s a range of washing powders, fabric softener, vanish and laundry sanitiser, if you forget. If you haven’t got time to stay and chat, however, you can simply drop off a bag and the staff will wash, dry and fold it for you – with special prices for this service.
Don’t just stare aimlessly into the washing cycle while you wait though. Make sure to sample At The Well’s inspired breakfast menu. You’ve got the time! Served everyday 9:30am to 3.30pm, the pancakes are a must. We recommend going for classic American-style, topped with blueberries, streaky bacon and maple syrup. Or Osaka-style, with white cabbage, bacon and okonomiyaki sauce for authentic Japanese flavours. A glass of homemade lemonade on the side always quenches the thirst too.
At The Well places special emphasis on making as much from scratch as it can. From homemade seasonal soups, to cakes and chai syrup, even the hand-built tables you eat from. If they can do it themselves, they will. Sustainability plays a crucial role in its ethos. In fact they note that “communal laundrettes are just one possible way of reducing society’s demand for material goods.”
Nothing pulls the community together like music, however. At The Well understands this too. They host irregular live acoustic music events in the laundromat, bringing in crowds of locals and music fans alike. It’s where At The Well really peaks and achieves a community feel like few other cafes, or laundrettes for that matter, can match. To learn more about At The Well head over to their website.