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To think cooking in many cafes in uk is shit and overpriced?

42 replies

midlifehope · 03/07/2015 11:06

I am sick of regretting eating out lately. This am I had a veggie breakfast that was rubbish, cold toast doused in plastic margarine, microwaved veggie sausages etc....last time I ate out I had a stale jacket potato with coleslaw that had gone off and hairs on the plate..... The food takes ages and comes out crap. I can cook much better myself. Aibu to think that cafes in the uk (some of them) need to sort themselves out???

OP posts:

BeautifulBatman · 03/07/2015 11:09

Where on earth are you going to eat?


TelephoneIgnoringMachine · 03/07/2015 11:10

YANBU. Vote with your feet. DH & I won't go to at least half the places in our town, due to poor service, poor choice of food (I'm on a limited diet) or lack of facilities.


midlifehope · 03/07/2015 11:13

Yes you're right telephone I need to stop giving them my money, shame you have to have the bad experience first before you boycott. I was particularly disappointed last time as trip advisor gave the place good reviews.

OP posts:

haveabreakhaveakitkat · 03/07/2015 11:14

TripAdvisor is really helpful. Even if I'm just looking for a fry up - I'll check reviews first.


LashesandLipstick · 03/07/2015 11:14

If you don't like the food eat somewhere else. I hate the lack of individual cafes now - Costa coffee galore but hardly any little tea rooms.


midlifehope · 03/07/2015 11:17

Beautiful batman eat at home or take packed lunches!!

OP posts:

Crocodopolis · 03/07/2015 11:17

I rarely eat at cafes (I stay in hotels during the week as I travel a lot on business) but on the occasions I have I've had good to so-so meals.

Omelettes and other food that is cooked onsite (and I don't mean heated up in a microwave or bought mass-produced) like salads tend to be pretty good, in my experience.


googoodolly · 03/07/2015 11:18

Where are you going?! Our little town has lots of lovely independent restaurants and cafes and we rarely have reason to complain.

And I second TripAdvisor.


FieldTrip · 03/07/2015 11:18

DH and I remarked after our last UK holiday that things have improved no end in this respect over the last couple of decades. We find cafes are reliably good now, but they weren't a few years ago.

Unfortunately, if you do hit a poor one, it will be a little independent. That's why the chains are so successful. You know what you're going to get and what you're going to pay for it.

Conversely, the very best ones are independent too, of course.


Tuskerfull · 03/07/2015 11:18

I think Batman meant where on earth are you going that serves microwaved sausages and hairy coleslaw? That's not representative of British cafés in any way!


keepitsimple0 · 03/07/2015 11:25

I am from America but live in London and have to agree with the OP. There are some good cafes that serve a decent breakfast (somebody made the comment of omelettes and salad. I agree, usually good), but a lot of it is overpriced and terrible. I had a friend come over from back home and was appalled.

I also find that selection rather odd. Beans on toast for 3-4 quid? That's literally a slice of toast with canned microwaved beans on it, with no pretence of it being anything else. I find it odd to have something on the menu that everyone could make at home in less time.


BreconBeBuggered · 03/07/2015 11:28

I'd rather have a microwaved veggie sausage than one that had been merrily fried next to the bacon, which is what I saw happening at my nearest independent cafe. I haven't been back since. It wasn't even my order.

Otherwise, the smaller cafes here are known to serve better food and drink than the chains like Costa, and they're packed with locals all year round. The visitors and schoolkids can have Starbucks.


BeautifulBatman · 03/07/2015 11:30

Yes Tusker, that's exactly what I meant.


midlifehope · 03/07/2015 11:33

Both were cafes at Welsh seaside villages. I live in Wales

OP posts:

OhtoblazeswithElvira · 03/07/2015 11:40

Oh midlife so do I

Please name and shame give me some clues to spare me the hairy coleslaw experience


WorktoLive · 03/07/2015 11:42

YANBU. Far too many cafes serve utterly shit food and the same goes for restaurants and pubs. Chains are average at best and like a PP says, with independents, unless you know the place, you don't know whether it will be fantastic or awful.

So many crimes against food - margarine, pre-made industrial sandwich fillings that are 50% mayonnaise, canned squirty cream on hot chocolate or scones instead of the real thing.

And I do eat at home, or take packed lunches most of the time, because finding somewhere edible is so difficult. I don't trust Trip Advisor a lot of the time because I don't agree with many British people over what constitutes good food - to far too many people, this means beige, bland and plenty of it, and that's nothing like what I want.


FieldTrip · 03/07/2015 11:42

I agree Brecon, I'd far rather have a reliable independent, but if you're not a local, you don't know which sort you're walking into.

What the chains have done, is force the independents to improve. Possibly in small Welsh costal villages, there isn't much competition?


SunnyBaudelaire · 03/07/2015 11:45

I live in wales too, and some of the café food is pure awful.
Luckily we have a Wetherspoons which is standardised at least.


Viviennemary · 03/07/2015 11:49

I agree with looking on trip Advisor. Then try a few cafes and pick out your favourite few. And then just stick with them. That's what I usually do. I'd rather go to an independent cafe than a coffee shop type chain though I do go in these sometimes.


midlifehope · 03/07/2015 11:54

Ok bosuns locker in new quay - looked great on trip adviser but was shite. Boulders cafe in Borth for crappy breakfast- under new owners

OP posts:

midlifehope · 03/07/2015 11:55

Oh and I'm sick of being served decaf late - as instant granules with warmed milk. I can do better at home Confused

OP posts:

andyourlittledogtoo · 03/07/2015 11:56

YANBU - so true. Same with takeaways! Find it incredible that a business can be set up with the sole aim of serving food and then sells stuff you could have cooked better yourself. Second the poster above who suggested using trip adviser. So annoying as well when you've decided to treat yourself to a little splurge!


sliceofsoup · 03/07/2015 11:59

I tend to agree OP.

It isn't even that I have had any bad experiences as such, but I find that small cafes can fall in to the trap of using the same suppliers, and having the same menus.

For example, I am much more likely to return to somewhere for a fry up if they serve sausages from their local butcher. If they serve cheap sausages that are the same as the ones in the cafe in the next town, or even the same as in the chippy, I won't go back. Its just lazy, because I am sure they could serve butchers sausages for not a big difference in price. And I wouldn't mind paying 50p more.

Or things like paninis, with the same chicken, and the same sauces. It is just so uniform, and I know that it is all coming in frozen.

I try to support the cafes who have a lot of home baking, and food that is seasonal and different.

But then I have worked in kitchens, and I know the way they work. There is a stark difference in quality of food and prep, and no difference in price.


keepitsimple0 · 03/07/2015 12:13

So many crimes against food - margarine, pre-made industrial sandwich fillings that are 50% mayonnaise, canned squirty cream on hot chocolate or scones instead of the real thing.

I was in a small seaside town recently and got bit by this pre-made bought sandwich filling. really?


keepitsimple0 · 03/07/2015 12:17

I don't agree with many British people over what constitutes good food

yes, some of the problem is cultural. You see a lot of breakfasts with toast, eggs, sausage, beans, and hash browns or other form of potato, almost certainly not made in house. even with high quality sausages, that's not the greatest balanced meal.

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