Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Sunday roast in a bap at Arrosto's, Cannon Street

My Sunday roast in a bap – it was very tasty! Nearest tube is Monument – look out for Cannon Street when you surface and it's on the left.

Coming up for air at Monument underground station, I wandered around trying to find somewhere decent for a cup of tea and a snack. I stumbled across Arrosto's, billed as a carvery and coffee shop. It's independent, that's one good thing, it's clean, that's another, and it's friendly. The carvery element is small – this isn't a Toby Carvery – but it's all there: chicken, beef, pork and lamb; just on a smaller scale.

I wasn't sure what I was going to get when I ordered the chicken with roast potatoes and stuffing balls. In fact, I was expecting a roast dinner on a plate, but no, once I'd made my order, the friendly girl behind the counter started preparing it for a huge bap. I ate in, but still got the bap wrapped in paper along with a large tea (only £1.40) and took my seat at one of those steel tables. A copy of The Sun made the whole experience just a little better and I ended up ordering another large tea and a Mars bar as dessert.

Arrosto's is a switched on place and it has its own website. Check it out by clicking here.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Peel's Coffee House & Eatery, Tamworth, Staffordshire

Piping hot traditional British food. Look at that steaming Cottage Pie, those skin-on potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and peas! And all for £4.75! This, ladies and gentlemen, was my lunch on Friday 16 October 2009.

Nothing better than a caff over a shop and in this case Peel's Coffee House & Eatery was over a dress hire shop. Having wandered around Tamworth in search of a decent caff, I'd passed many worthy candidates including one offering liver and onions for just £2.50. I settled for Peel's and decided to tuck in to a pot of tea and a toasted teacake.

Peel's had a bluish interior, patterned tablecloths under glass and a pleasant vibe. The teacake was excellent and the tea was good too, although I could barely squeeze a second cup of tea out of my pot – more like a cup with a spout. I ordered another, which was bigger than the first, and then I spied somebody tucking into what looked like an amazing lunch.

Peel's had plenty to offer the hungry traveller and it was all detailed on a laminated menu: jacket potatoes, baguettes, panini breads, salads, omelettes and a range of home-made specials chalked on to blackboards.

There was also a proper cook making the food, a dinner lady type, which meant that the food had to be good.

Seeing the steaming hot meal arrive at an adjacent table prompted me to make a sideways glance in the opposite direction at the tempting blackboard. I simply had to order the cottage pie with potatoes and vegetables – it was only £4.75 and it was home-made by the dinner lady. What's more, it was lunch time and I didn't fancy the sweaty sandwiches on the train.

It was a worthwhile decision. The food arrived piping hot and set me up for the rest of the day. It was fortuitous that I'd ordered the meal because the train to London was not a Virgin train and it had no buffet or a trolley service. Result!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Coventry University gets a Compass Costa Coffee

According to a news report in the Coventry Telegraph, Compass Group UK & Ireland have been taken on by the University of Coventry as its first out-sourced food and drink contract.

The contract caterer, which runs the Ritazza coffee shop brand internationally as well as many other different foodservice concepts, will be operating a Costa Coffee unit inside the university, according to the newspaper.

The contract between Compass and the university will run for seven years. It will be one of the largest Costa Coffee cafés run by Compass in the UK and should generate around £1 million revenue annually.

New look for Waitrose in-store cafés

Supermarket chain Waitrose has appointed design consultancy Mellor & Scott to look into re-designing the stores' restaurants.  The current Waitrose cafés feature light-coloured wooden tables, chairs and counters.

It is early days yet in terms of knowing what the new-design cafés will look like, but it's worth bearing in mind that Waitrose has some pretty big plans up it's sleeves generally. The John Lewis Partnership supermarket brand is planning to open more convenience stores and is moving into the world of petrol retailing too.
For more details, click here.