ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS ADDRESSES IN BOATING is No. 16 Lombard Street, London, England, in the very center of the city’s maritime business district. Sometime around 1691, Edward Lloyd opened a coffee house where men in powdered wigs with a penchant for math and underwriters who practiced stiff upper lip poses negotiated terms to compensate owners should their cargo ships be lost at sea. This was the origin of the famous Lloyd’s of London, a centuries-old insurance house based on a good cup of coffee.
And while I appreciate Keurig machines found on many of today’s finer production yachts, they defeat the social purpose of strolling the docks to discover a sinfully delicious pastry
shop in the most unlikely of places.
An accidental turn to starboard in Naples led me to the Tuscan-themed apartments and marina of the Naples Bay Resort. Wind inward and you’ll discover a 97-slip marina that offers overnight, seasonal and annual marina slip rentals and the Catalina Café. Try their signature lattes, local wild flower honey and homemade ginger syrup. Breakfast sandwiches, picnic lunches to-go and homemade baked goods are a cheerful start to a day’s boating or shopping ventures.
While chartering out of Southwest Florida Yachts in Cape Coral, Florida, my breakfast fix at the French Press resulted in loosening of the PFD straps. How does one turn down a chocolate and banana puree called the Dirty Banana, Filthy Coconut or French Kiss at seven in the morning? Sixteen ounces of hot, iced or blended coffee, along with
mainstays Americano, Red Eye and espresso can delay any well-crafted itinerary. The owners here offer croissants, bagels and for heartier appetites, a full complement of eggs,
bacon, ham or sausage, and cheese. You’ll find them at Cape Harbour Marina.
Speaking of croissants, mariners who are lucky enough to finagle a slip on Boca Grande will want to make the overland trek to The Inn Bakery, the newest addition to The Gasparilla Inn & Club. Boater casual, this storied resort offers signature coffees, morning pastries, sugared doughnuts, and the best cinnamon raisin rolls ever! The marina is open to the public and located on the bayou behind The Inn. Larger vessels up to 100 feet will find accommodations nearby at Boca Grande Marina (formerly Miller’s). Simply rent a golf cart and enjoy the island “Boca Style.”
For purists who prefer a cup of coffee without compromise and favor supporting a start-up sourcing the highest-quality beans from the best farmers across the globe, check out Buddy Brew a few blocks from Marina Jack in Sarasota. The owner is expanding throughout Florida creating exceptional coffees, while building community with a whimsically themed décor. Dog lovers should try the Double Dog Espresso.
St. Petersburg’s waterfront is becoming a “foodie heaven”, which is a far cry from its former moniker “God’s waiting room.” Alive, vibrant and skewing toward the younger, the
hip, new breakfast bistro is The Wooden Rooster. Serving regular, buckwheat or gluten-free crepes, not to mention a great cup of joe, the casual café works closely with local
farmers featuring organic produce, when possible.
Lloyd’s of London may have old-world charm and history, but along Florida’s West Coast, boaters now have many memorable morning destinations to idly pass the time over a
great cup of coffee.
By Alan Wendt, Southern Boating December 2017