Friday, 30 September 2011

Ice Cream Station

Squire's Garden Centre at Badshot Lea has a new 350-seat cafe with an idea borrowed from Pizza Hut - the kids love it.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Tubby Telford

6,626 calories, 9" high and £15 - The Titanic Burger was introduced 8  months ago and 400 have won the challenge (eat within 45 minutes and get a T shirt and a free main course on your next visit) of the 2,000 sold including one competitive person who ate it in 7 minutes.

40oz of meat including burgers, chicken breast, bacon, cheese, onion rings, waffles, buns, salad and mayonnaise plus milkshake and chunky chips.  Not sure Oscars in Telford has heard of the Responsibility Deal.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Leeds - The Old & The New

The old - 4 different Fishmongers in Leeds Markets
The new - Cup cakes (and pork pie cake) in Leeds Corn Exchange

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Garden Crepes

Crepe station at Squires Garden Centre, Badshot Lea

Monday, 26 September 2011

Her Majesty's Prison

Really impressed with The Clink restaurant at HMP High Down in Sutton in terms of its objectives and mission to train worthwhile skills to those about to leave prison.  They have a location for their next venture - a cafe to be called Clink 2 - and offers of help, time and equipment are welcomed by their Chief Exec Christopher Moore at    
Need something to bolster your corporate social responsibility credentials that is relevant to our industry?

Sunday, 25 September 2011

"New" Cafetiere Coffee

Costa with 1,300 stores now has more outlets than McDonalds (and plans to open 300 more this year) so we need to take anything they do into account. They influence our market big time.

'New Cafetiere Coffee' spotted here in Birmingham - one off trial or a national roll-out?

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Gourmet Hot Dogs

Primo's Gourmet Hot Dogs in Leeds' historic Corn Exchange look fun.

Cubanos (Cuban sandwiches), Nutella Cappucino and Banana Latte enliven the menu plus some very switched on marketing.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Do You Know Anybody Who Wants to be Fat?

Have you switched on to obesity and calorie counts?  It does make you think and I am sure it will alter demand over time.   That daily latte looks dangerous!  No, we don't want to stifle the creativity and innovation of homemade food and changing menus but how about showing information on at least some bought-in items?

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Aye lad, that's some wedding cake

Anthony's is an institution in Leeds with their ambitious and fairly amazing space  in the Corn Exchange.

This is their Pork Pie Cake for 70 persons at £195!  They do say Yorkshire is a county with character.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Dandelion & Burdock

The Tiled Hall (est. 1884) Cafe in Leeds Art Gallery is operated by Boutique Catering and looked good.

The Dandelion & Burdock and Lime & Courgette cakes were particularly of note.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Doddington Hall Farm Shop & Cafe & More

Like the design of the new cafe at Doddington Hall in Lincolnshire with its hanging watering cans and gardeners' baskets.

The tray holder is fun - it was used on the estate to pick up sacks of spuds.

This is an old-established stately home that is going places with restaurant, retail, banqueting facilities, farm shop and cafe - the bedrooms come next.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Today is Going To Be A Good Day

Love the signage at the fast expanding Breakfast Club in Spitalfields.  The only mention of their name is on an external clock (that's all that is needed).  If you can get people to smile in this business, you are half-way to getting their custom.  How straight and downright dull is your cafe - loosen up!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Green Goddess & Jamon

Look at the sandwich selection at Allpress Espresso in Shoreditch - interesting, different and distinctive.  I am still trying to work out the Green Goddess Egg & Jamon.   The roastery is on full display and a real feature.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Cakes on Sticks

Pop Bakery's cake heads at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair.

This mother daughter team are certainly inventive - see

See also

Friday, 16 September 2011

Is a Chilled Sandwich truly Fresh?

M&S with their simple, ambient temperature, display for baguettes at their Kensington lunchtogo unit.

Worth looking at M&S' 150 product lunchtogo menu range that they offer on-line and deliver in certain locations

To see how other major cafe operators are displaying fresh sandwiches at room temperature - within the 4 hour rule and as one would make at home - see  and

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Feast for Your Eyes

Stands and towers of mini-cupcakes, whoopie pies and brownies at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair at Olympia designed to catch the eye.  A show is not that dissimilar to a cafe - buy with your eyes.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Drinks for "Summer"

Limeade & Pink Lemonade from EAT, Strawberryade from Leon - you can at least drink summer even if you don't feel you have had the weather of a summer!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

National Cupcake Week

Am sure you knew!  It's National Cupcake Week this week as organised by British Baker

The caterers Create have fully entered into the fun with savoury cupcakes - goat cheese and red onion / mozzarella with a tomato and basil icing - and the lure of two new flavours a day.  Tasted surprisingly good.  Featured here at their Fulham Palace cafe.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Profit Spray

The American Jetspray "visual display dispenser" allows you to sell home-flavoured water at a great mark-up.  Itsu gets £1.70 for its Detox Zinger.  Perfect bit of kit for home made lemonade.

Details of the Visual Display Dispenser at

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Brummie Head in the Sand

Ostrich meat kiosk in central Birmingham. "The healthiest meat in the world" according to iloveostrich

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Mouth Watering Display - Part 2

Konditor & Cook's cake display under the City's iconic Gherkin

Fruit Danish at the Albion Caff

Friday, 9 September 2011

Shame about the Coffee, Syd

Syd's Original Coffee Stall established on the same spot in London's East End off Shoreditch High Street in 1919 has coffee from the same era. Wonderful social history but shame no espresso machine within.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

It's Popping

Meet Joe&Seph's gourmet popcorn established 2010 and pretty darned tasty.  The Speciality and Fine Food Fair at Olympia had at least four other popcorn companies on show.

Do you still have just crisps for sale?!

See blog post dated 5th April

Home Sweet Home

Konditor & Cook's Victoria Sponge cakes look fabulously home made - the others somewhat factory finished. Which appeals more? We always yearn for home and what mum made.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Store with Your Eyes

Storing your produce out front starts a message from the very beginning plus it cuts down on expensive back of house storage space.

It's no surprise that we start our London Cafe Tours at the much mentioned Albion Caff.

Monday, 5 September 2011

You're Framed

Eye-catching menus in gilded frames at a stall in Spitalfields

Sunday, 4 September 2011

In Your Face Crisps

Caffe Nero clearly sells more crisps when they (almost) hit you in the face when buying a sandwich. Clipped onto the multideck chiller, these work a treat.

Pret do it slightly differently

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Brolly Brilliant

Neat way to both advertise and keep (some) rain off your customers. Cafe Costes in Birmingham

Friday, 2 September 2011

Best Sausage Roll in Town

Peyton & Byrne claim their Londoner sausage roll is the best in town. Certainly a huge improvement on the processed pink 'meat' factory products of old. A great staple product (like quiche) that is being re-discovered in cafes throughout the land as quality is improved.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Slurp with a Spoon

Itsu and M&S are providing those spoons to make it all seem easy. It invites that 'eat me now' reflex. Good idea.