Archive for the ‘London W1 (Marylebone)’ Category

Marylebone Cafe, Marylebone Lane, W1

June 26, 2010

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.

Italian Coffee Company, Crawford St, W1

January 5, 2009

Visited:  Sunday 4th January, 2009

Interior:
Wooden floors and tables make this a more welcoming experience than its peers normally offer. An unusual feature on a day when the temparature was below freezing, and where the  norm is wide-open doors was a welcome rush of warm air from what would normally be used as an air conditioning unit. Arabic television makes its presence felt somewhat intrusively but was at least watched by staff rather than simply being an unwelcome backdrop. I felt a little stared-at by the entirely male staff, but perhaps women don’t often eat on their own in Marylebone.

Food:
Sadly, my first and second choices of light wraps (and what had led me to choose the caff in the first place)  were not available. Still in January austerity mode, I didn’t want a breakfast and instead, I asked for a small portion of lebanese musaka (for which they insisted on charging the full price) which was very nice indeed. Tea was in a big mug and they also offered fresh mint tea. However, the attitude of the staff means I don’t really want to go back.

Cafe Lido, Great Castle Street, Upper Regent St, W1

July 6, 2007

First Visited: Monday 2nd July 2007, Last visited Saturday 30th August 2008

**UPDATE**

Sorry to go on about the size of teacups, but charging £1.80 for a cup of warm water and a teabag on a plate is NOT ON. Luckily the waitress was very nice about pouring some more hot water on my teabag, but why not just give me a mug in the first place? Coffee’s served in a mug (although a small one).

 A good place to escape from Oxford Street shoppers. Open into the evening.

Interior: A traditional Italian sandwich bar enhanced by a skylit eating area filled with delightful greenery.

Food: I had a very garlicky rigatoni with broccoli and tomato sauce which was delicious although it had the usual rather meagre ratio of sauce to pasta. Also an earl grey tea served in a cup of course.

This is an old favourite for pre-pub dinners which has become very pretty since I last visited. I was also impressed at how much the staff seemed to want to help each other. I couldn’t find anywhere to leave a tip, otherwise I would have!