Monday, 31 December 2012

Comfortable in its own Skin

Hot tip for 2013 - The Pig. 
Robin & Judy Hutson had great success with Hotel du Vin and now son Ollie joins in the kitchen garden.  I have never seen such a complimentary guest comment book.  The Pig sets the pace in terms of design, kitchen garden, sustainability, staff enthusiasm and being 'comfortable in its own skin'.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Outside Seating & Walls

Wood wall at The Pig in the New Forest
Plastic north of King's Cross Station
Wood at The Espresso Room on Great Ormond Street
Tables made from recycled shampoo bottles at the Real Food Cafe, Tyndrum

Thursday, 27 December 2012

How Good is Yours?

 Heston's Fish Pie at Waitrose takes some beating.

 The Lasagne takes the prize; must be the umami paste.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

A Tale of Two Locations

Waterfalls Restaurant in Villa Escudero 4
Labassin Waterfall Restaurant, Phillipines
The Angel Pub, Henley in the recent floods!
Happy Christmas

Monday, 24 December 2012

Chocolate gets Everywhere

Chocolate Pasta seen at a food show. 
Marmite Truffles at Paul A Young
Chocolate covered Chili Peperoni at Berlin Christmas street market

Friday, 21 December 2012

Salute The Pigs

Whenever there is a question about naming your cafe - consider THE PIG Rooms and Kitchen Garden Food.  Formerly the Whitley Ridge Hotel, it now sports an unforgettable name and distinct theme.  The only drawback might be a lack of business from those communities who avoid pork.
Paperweight at Reception
The National Trust's Book on Pig Keeping is in every bedroom and is used for the bar menu folder.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Bread on a Bike

Interesting cake and bread display at the new Recipease (from the Jamie Oliver stable) in Notting Hill. The trike is made by Pashley, England's longest established bicycle manufacturer.
Upturned zinc bath lampshade plus self-serve ice cream

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Paw Paw Passion

Mango Paw Paw Passion Breakfast Bowl at Crussh

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Brownie Mince Pies

Brownie Mince Pies at chocolatier Paul A Young

Monday, 17 December 2012


Peanut-free peanut butter and coming to the UK soon.  Food Futurist and Wowbutter champion Stephen Minall at lectures on food innovation at the United Nations and is constantly championing innovation in our industry.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Ketchup Udders

Guest Spot
Condiment 'udders' at Berlin Christmas street market spotted by my well-trained teenage daughter.  Thank-you Juliet.

Friday, 14 December 2012

I Really Hate Bacon

Eye-catching A-Boards outside Breakfast Club

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Upside Down at the Opera

Pineapple upside down cake at the Royal Opera House.  Pastry ace Claire Clark is working for caterer Company of Cooks with good results.
 Blackberry and apple cheesecake tarts plus Eccles cakes

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Taste of Christmas

Konditor & Cook's Cinnamon Stars and Lebkuchen
Carluccios' Xmas Mini Chocolate Cake, Xmas Tree and Xmas Star Cookies 

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

75% Sales Increase

Haskins Garden Centre, Southampton invested £2.3 million in a new 460-seat cafe a year ago and sales have increased by 75%.  Catering sales account for almost one quarter of total garden centre turnover.
Treacle Toffee Apple Muffins.
 Apricot Scones
Lemon Meringue Muffins

Monday, 10 December 2012

Tart Comment

The best comment (compliment, naturally!) about the Great Cafes blog added to this post by the weekend wins the ring.  If you are shy about commenting, a photo I can use on the Guest Spot will qualify.  A Great Cafes Christmas present for rebellious teens unearthed by my teenage daughter from an outfit called Punky Allsorts.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Kitchen Garden Food

The Pig in the (New) Forest proclaims its rooms and kitchen garden food.  The Kitchen Garden really delivers - see our Pinterest board to see just some of what was growing in early December.
Ollie the Head Kitchen Gardener is full of passion for his subject - we will hear more of this young man and the whole subject of real restaurant kitchen gardening.  Out of town cafes and restaurants serious about their food should be taking note of what is going on here.
Innovation and experimentation is much in evidence.  The Crosne Chinese Artichoke was new to us with its excellent crunchy water chestnut taste.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Coffee as it should be

It's not just enough to have great coffee; you need a good machine to make it.  The trend to publicise both coffee supplier and machine manufacturer is seen at Gail's - already famous for their bread and pastries.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Arresting Menu

Beach Blanket Babylon catches the eye with its street-side framed menu plus oranges, scales and pumpkin

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Prepared for Rain

The ace restaurateurs Jeremy King & Chris Corbin have been busy opening Delaunay, Zedel and Colbert - they have a great eye for detail as seen by their wet umbrella bagging machine at Zedel's cafe.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Street Box

Street food is all the rage and POD now do their version of street food inspired boxes using wholemeal flatbread as the base ingredient.

Friday, 30 November 2012


Cafes are all about buying with your eyes and we know that alcohol sales are not that big at lunchtime.  The Beach Cafe at Wells-next-the-Sea has found some giant glasses to make the connection.  Cheers!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Original, Inventive & Contemporary

Slow cooked beef shin brioche
Great tasting savoury and sweet pastry items at The Espresso Room opposite Great Ormond Street Hospital from baker Fynch whose owner David (Pip) Pippin sets out to make original, inventive and contemporary pastries.
Whiskey & Orange Eccles Cake
Pulled Pork Sausage Roll