Well today I discovered Time Travel. Yes, time travel; in our quaint City of Carlisle, a magical couple have found a way for us to travel back in time to our favourite decades. And you can do it all in your lunch hour and be back again in time to get back to your desk without anyone knowing you were lightyears away.

Lads and Lasses, I give you…………….The Vinyl Café

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In the hour I spent in the café I visited the swinging sixties, I took a spin around a light up dancefloor in the seventies and I got wrecked in the Hacienda. I walked out feeling refreshed and recharged and ready to take on the rest of my day.

James Brown (yes he really is called James Brown) opened the café in 2016 alongside his Mrs, Lynn Brown. In his newly established Vinyl Café, you can peruse the Vinyl on sale, order lunch and coffee (the homemade cake is lush) and sit and listen to whatever floats your boat or in this case whatever is floating James’s boat that day.

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I can’t remember the last time I saw my fella get that excited! Yeah….. you heard…..I sat and chatted to Lynn and James whilst he got lost in the crates and shelves full of new and old vinyl.

They say money makes the world go round, I disagree. Music makes the world go round. We had been in the café for a little over 10 minutes and myself, my fella, James, another customer and Lynn were knee deep in a conversation about music. And it all started when we overheard James and the other patron talking about the Beach Boys, one of my fellas favourite bands. There was no awkwardness, there was no hovering and waiting for the right moment, we were with our ‘people’. Music lovers just like us; and it was brilliant. Five people who share the same passion, exchanging memories and creating new ones.

The nostalgia of the places oozes from the walls, literally. There’s cassettes on the wall (for those born in the 1990s, cassettes are what we used to listen to music on and rewound with a pencil). There’s a listening booth and records all over the walls and a record player behind the counter playing whatever you fancy. I hadn’t heard the sound of music coming out of a vinyl player since I was a kid and my dad used to play Pink Floyd or Fleetwood Mac to me. And the crackling through the speakers took me right back to my childhood home and how I felt when I first heard dark side of the moon. The hairs on my arms stood on end and Goosebumps formed all over my body. I sank back into my chair and my mind just stopped. For 4 minutes 32 seconds my mind just cleared, my ears were filled with pleasantry and I just enjoyed the moment. I was brought out of my daze my fella waving a record in my face with a huge childish grin on his fyace.

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James explained to me that his idea for the place came when he walked down Abbey Street and he came across an old empty antiques shop. He just knew the space would be perfect for what he wanted. He was quick to tell me that he has loved music for as long as he could remember his favourites being Van Morrison, Robert Johnson and Jimi Hendrix. He was adamant that he want to create a space where music lovers could gather and just…..slow down. Our lives are so full on 24/7 with mobile phones and tablets keeping us connected to the world allllll of the time we find ourselves in a rat race, even folk like me who have actively tried to avoid the rat race are trapped in it. So what better way to take a break from it all than by switching my phone off, drinking my favourite drink, kicking back and listening to some of my favourite music. And not only that, listen to it how it should be listened to. On a vinyl player.

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James tells me he intends to organise some listening evenings where you can head down, make some friend and listen to some tunes. And if that isn’t reason enough to go, once a month they have intimate gigs with some of our homegrown talent. Their next gig is on Saturday 30th of September at 2pm. The Postcard Band are launching their new E.P.

The Vinyl Café is another example of an independent shop and café in Cumbria that is totally unique and not on your average high street, but for the sake of a few extra steps on your daily wander round town I would implore you to take time, go in and lose yourself. Even if just for a few minutes.

Not only do they allow you to relax and unwind but just by being there you are supporting local independent traders fighting the good fight against the corporate big boys. The café prepares its food with locally sourced ingredients and the coffee beans are supplied by Bruce and Luke of Carlisle. Lynn has stocked the café with loose leaf teas for the tea connoisseurs and makes all the homemade cakes herself. Bang goes your diet lasses but well worth those few extra syns & points!

So next time you’re in town go and have a neb, what’s the worst that can happen? You come out with a full belly and a new vinyl to add to your collection?

For more info, have a deeks at their facebook page:Vinyl Cafe Facebook

Love CL xx