Marylebone Cafe, Marylebone Lane, W1

Visited: Saturday 25th June 2010

Interior: A classic this one – one would almost say a gem. Battered wood and leatherette seats hugging ‘formica’ tables, Magic on the wireless, sauce bottles and sugar shakers on the tables and menu above the counter. Natural light only coming in from the front window. The appearance was a little out of kilter with the service which was not only from the kind of young woman you might expect to be a fashion student, but she was wearing a uniform shirt with a ‘Marylebone Cafe’ insignia on it. She wasn’t notably more unfriendly than other caffs, but she was particularly unhelpful when one very desperate customer gave up on ever getting into the loo as its occupant – not previously seen anywhere in the cafe – seemed unmovable (‘is it out of order or actually occupied?’ ‘yes, there’s someone in there’). It wasn’t that I was punishing her by not leaving a tip, I simply couldn’t calculate it when my need for the loo was so urgent!

Food: I had an extremely nice mushrooms and tomato on granary toast. Both were generous portions and the toast was extra buttery. Tea was also great – in a mug with a strong teabag left in. I think I would have left with a far more positive impression of this cafe were it not for the incident related above. Given that it’s quite hard to find a cosy cafe near Oxford street open on a Saturday, I would not rule out a return. But I might wait until such time as I can nip across to Debenhams afterwards.

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