Formerly Cafe Florentin, and still under the same ownership, the St Giles Cafe, just off the High Street has been plying its trade for a couple of decades. Today was my first visit.
The place is very smart, with high, corniced ceilings, and a strong emphasis on wood and stone, offset with sunflowers aplenty. I liked it, muchly.
Service is functional and to the point. It’s a small room to manage, so they handle things well, but there was a lack of warmth about the welcome, certainly from the waitress who served me.
I asked what their soup of the day was and found that they showcase tomato and basil as a permanent feature. From their specials board, I noticed that if I added a filled croissant, this would cost £6.90.
The soup was a rather small portion. It had a good dark colour to it, suggesting considerable depth of flavour, but it didn’t really deliver. It was fine, but little beyond that.
By contrast, the croissant was outstandingly good. The lovely flaky, buttery pastry was filled with a tasty slice of ham and melted cheese. Each mouthful was just delightful.
I rounded things out with horrifically burnt and bitter espresso, which left things on rather a low note.
So overall, it was a really mixed bag from the St Giles Cafe. Their croissants are an undoubted strength, and the space is lovely, but the coffee and soup left me cold. It’s rather too pricey, also, so I think this is a place best left to the tourists.
Blythe scores St Giles Cafe
3/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
2.5/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 13/20
I ate: tomato and basil soup; ham and cheese croissant
I drank: water, espresso
I wore: tweed
Total bill: £8.70