Cafe bringing 'magic of the circus' to coffee dates opens at Hippodrome

Natacha Lacey, manager, and Jack Jay, company director, in the recently opened Cafe 1903 amongst cir

Natacha Lacey, manager, and Jack Jay, company director, in the recently opened Cafe 1903 amongst circus memorabilia at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus. - Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant

A café bringing the “magic of the circus” to your coffee and cake dates has opened at Great Yarmouth’s Hippodrome. 

Whether you’re in town for a show or just fancy a stroll along the seafront, Café 1903 is a new addition to the historic circus venue – but you don’t need a ticket. 

Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus - Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant

The business unofficially launched back in Halloween but with this year's Easter shows fast approaching, Hippodrome director and ringmaster Jack Jay says it will be the first time the cafe has been open alongside one of their biggest performances of the year. 

Mr Jay said the idea was to “extend the Hippodrome experience” for visitors as well as creating a hub for locals to relax with a cup of coffee. 

It will run by his partner and passionate baker Natacha Lacey. 

Cookies and muffins, tea and coffeeat Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus. Picture: DENI

Cookies and muffins, tea and coffee at Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus. - Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant

“It has been something we have been talking about doing for a very long time,” said Mr Jay. “So when the pandemic hit and we had more time on our hands, it was the push we needed to get going. 

“Cafe 1903 gives you a flavour of the magic we create at the Hippodrome, where people can also enjoy great food and drinks. 

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“There are some amazing bits from our circus museum which creates an absolute visual feast but it is also a super relaxed space. 

One of the framed posters on the wall at Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus, this one f

One of the framed posters on the wall at Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus, this one from 1974. - Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant

“I can guarantee it will be the most unique coffee shop experience anyone has ever had before.” 

Café 1903, formerly a storage and garage space, is located between the dance school and the circus’ main entrance. 

The interior of Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The interior of Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus. - Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant

It is offering “artisan-style” coffee sourced from a Cambridge-based company as well as fresh and hand-made food options. 

The menu includes sandwiches, paninis, bagels, cakes and baked treats all made by Ms Lacey. 

Mr Jay added: “It’s an incredible lunch and coffee spot. 

Natacha Lacey, manager, and Jack Jay, company director, in the recently opened Cafe 1903 at Great Ya

Natacha Lacey, manager, and Jack Jay, company director, in the recently opened Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus. - Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant

“The feedback has been fantastic from people coming to see our shows. They say the café has added to their experience but what has been really nice is how many local people and families have also been coming in and making it their own.” 

The Hippodromes’ award-winning show Pirates Live will return in April.  

You can book tickets here. https://hippodromecircus.co.uk/pirates-live  

A chinese dragon from the Chinese State Circus' summer season in the 1980s, on show at Cafe 1903 at

A Chinese dragon from the Chinese State Circus' summer season in the 1980s, on show at Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus. - Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant

One of the billboars promoting the Hippodrome Circus on the wall in Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's H

One of the billboars promoting the Hippodrome Circus on the wall in Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus. - Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant

The elephant car which used to drive along the seafront during the 1960s and 1970s, now in Cafe 1903

The elephant car which used to drive along the seafront during the 1960s and 1970s, now in Cafe 1903 amongst other circus memorabilia at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus. - Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant

One of the historical pieces from the Hippodrome's Backstage Museum, the ringmaster Yasmin Smart's c

One of the historical pieces from the Hippodrome's Backstage Museum, the ringmaster Yasmin Smart's costume from the 1980s, on show at Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus. - Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant

A latte and sausage roll at Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A latte and sausage roll at Cafe 1903 at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus. - Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant