Saturday, 31 December 2011

Lactose Free

"Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest milk.  Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence and nausea.  It is estimated that 75% of adults worldwide show some decrease in lactase activity during adulthood ranging from 5% in northern Europe to more than 90% in some African and Asian countries."  Wikipedia.

Looking after those special interest groups costs pennies but wins you fans.  Lactose free dairy 'drink' to accompany tea and coffee - purchased from a local supermarket and as seen at a National Trust property courtesy of a supervisor who knows the issues.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Pistachio & Orange Blossom

Pistachio and Orange Blossom cake at L'Orchidee, Westfield Stratford

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas Trees and Cars

Kranz cafe bakery in Tokyo.

A couple of interesting shots culled from Cafe! Best of Coffee Shop Design (Braun 2011) - a book I would browse but not buy.

Volkswagen Cafe, Beijing

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Supermarket Bakeries

The supermarkets are getting better and better with their in-store bakeries and displays
And hardly a plastic dome in sight

Monday, 26 December 2011

An Alternative to Turkey

Not really a cafe but I love the idea of an Indian that does Partridge and Pheasant Tandoor or Curries
Meghdoot's in Petworth.  Locals claim it is terrific.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Happy Christmas


Thanks Caterer for the Christmas present 
(and white glove to handle it!)
Happy Christmas to all

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Pie Man

Attractive hot pie unit and good cold pie and chutney presentation at Westmoreland Services

Friday, 23 December 2011

Demanding Hanging

Hanging items from walls and ceilings seems to be all the rage.

The Buttercup Cake Shop at Westfield Stratford.   Maybe the high ceilings demand it.

Hotel Chocolat at Westfield Stratford

See other examples

Thursday, 22 December 2011

What makes You more Likely to Buy a Cake?

Sea of Cake or Sea of Plastic

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Toilet Humour

How many cafes make money from selling postcards of their urinals?!  Barton Grange Garden Centre demonstrates humour, creativity and quirkiness.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Chilled Crepes

An unusual pastry at Apostrophe - mini crepes with chocolate and banana, chilled.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Are You Fun?

Boring cafes buy special catering bits of kit and spend lots of money
Fun, quirky cafes use every day objects in a new role
and save money

Sunday, 18 December 2011

That Local Story

Local produce is big and you need specifics, not blah blah.  Great messages at the National Trust's Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire and Lancashire's Barton Grange Garden Centre

Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Hungry Guest

Petworth, West Sussex has the rather good Hungry Guest bakery, food shop and cafe

Friday, 16 December 2011

Made By Us MSA

Westmoreland Motorway Services Area in Cumbria is a one-off with a real commitment to local sourcing and quality.  They have just opened their 'Made To Go' outlets.  
Even the ceiling is fun.  Nice to know their catering supremo Alistair is a fan of this blog.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Hot Pot Footfall

Mary Portas is spot on with her comments about the need to drive footfall.  She might not be so happy with how garden centres and farm shops are pulling folk away from the high street.  Guy, Russell and the team at Barton Grange near Preston know how to pull them in - their cafe is offering Hot Pot (with red cabbage and crusty bread) at £2.95 between 5pm and 7.30pm.  At a time when the cafe would otherwise be quiet 480 customers came last Tuesday all buying drinks and items in the garden centre.  Little wonder their business is up 12% on last year.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Christmas Cosy

Seasonal tea cosy at Jamie Oliver's Union Jacks restaurant

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Tasty Titbits

Planet Organic's chocolate brownie nibbles

The Modern Pantry's flapjacks

Monday, 12 December 2011

Tom's Deli

Tom's Deli cafe at Somerset House, London with great cake display
"We made this here" sandwiches

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Retro Kit

Utility is a fabulous shop in Brighton with everything from second-hand bakelite handle knives to those lovely enamel dishes our mums used.  Their on-line shop is at

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Not Amused

Cake howler - upon asking what a Lebanese Sponge Cake was, I was informed it was a Victoria Sponge

Friday, 9 December 2011

Blog of the Year

"Blogger Chris Brown scooped new category for this year, Blog of Year, with his Great Cafes blog ( providing news and views for the professional operator. One judge commented: "The author of this blog understands that a picture speaks a thousand words. It offers a great combination of good photography and helpful comments and top ideas for any café owner."

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Rhubarb & Custard

M&S with their new and claimed 'artificial flavour-free' Rhubarb & Custard sparkling drink.
"Tangy rhubarb and sweet custard as tasty in a drink as in a sweet"

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Hanging Hams

Fernandez & Wells' latest cafe at Somerset House, London with interesting display of hams on the bone, sandwiches and cakes.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

That Lived-In Look

And I always thought those brick walls were real!

Corporate Pret are certainly aware of the change in cafe feel/fashion/interior design

The 'new' lived in leather look

Monday, 5 December 2011

Sex, Drugs & Bacon Rolls

Sign at The Breakfast Club - "Home of the Bacon Butty" although it wasn't a patch on Popham Little Chef's Heston special with five rashers of  Denhay Wiltshire cure bacon - two back and three streaky - in quality bloomer bread.  That was magnificent.
Pret's new British Bacon Buttie sold from the heated wrap/porridge unit