It must have been at least six years since my last time in Debenhams cafe. I used to go all the time with my mum for lunch, but after a number of disappointing visits where they did not cook our panini straight through, we kind of migrated elsewhere.
I have on a number of occasions, however, recently glanced at their menu while browsing the department store, and thought some of their main meals sounded quite nice. So yesterday, after a successful shop in their clothes department, we decided to go in for a late lunch.
Usually you have a good view of New Wimbledon Theatre, but it was a bit of a gloomy day.
The look of the cafe has changed since last we were in there. I remember that before you had to navigate your way through a maze of tables like you were going in and out the dusty bluebells, but now all the tables are line up and they make much better use of the floor space. The atmosphere is more inviting, with soft green walls and attractive paintings, and there are now leather arm chairs and settees by the window, where you can look out onto New Wimbledon Theatre.
I made my mind up to have a beef lasagne, which at £5.29 was served with a choice of peas, chips, or salad. I think was a very good price, especially considering my trip to John Lewis's restaurant last week, where a small baguette cost almost £6, and their lasagne almost £8.
The lasagne was made fresh in a big batch, and then divided into nicely presented dishes. This kept the food warm, but made it difficult to cut into, so I ended up decanting it onto the bigger plate. I could tell it was fresh, because the pasta was moist, and the beef full of flavour.
The lady serving us was extremely friendly and made us feel very welcome. I think she might have been new because she had a bit of trouble with the till, but made sure we weren't standing about and let us go to our table while she sorted things out. She took the time to ask how we wanted our food prepared, and whether my mum wanted her tuna melt with sweetcorn, mayonnaise, or butter. The melt was then made to order with soft ciabatta bread.
When I went up to decide on a pudding, the lady asked us how our meal was, and was very pleasant to talk to. There were a number of indulgent cakes and pastries such as lemon meringue pie, almond Daim, chocolate cheesecake, and a carrot traybake.