Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published September 17th 2013
Style Over Substance?
Elys New Cafe
I never had a problem with how Elys's cafe looked before, but thinking back, the dark carpets, orange paint, and glow from the overhead lights did give the place a rather old fashioned appearance, and whenever I went there, most of the other customers were members of a much older demography. Since its recent refurbishment however, that has all changed.
Looking at the cafe now, I'm amazed at how different it looks. The white and doll house blue colour scheme makes the space feel twice as big as it did before, while the panelled walls are classy, sophisticated, and remind me of a stately home. The modern furnishings are appealing to all age groups, and reflects the kind of decor available to buy in the shop.
Freshly Baked Bread
Along with a new look comes a new menu. Elys serves various breakfasts up until 11.30am, including various big breakfasts, a breakfast bar, and scones.
Roast Lunch of the Day
After 11.30am they start serving hot lunches, such as pasta, jacket potatoes, beer battered fish & chips, chef specials, and a roast of the day (beef, ham, or turkey) at £11.50, which comes with roast potatoes, Yorkshire Puddings, homemade stuffing, and seasonal vegetables.
If your looking for something a little lighter on the tum, then you can have lemon chicken or quiche from the salad bar for £8.50, which can come with a choice of new potatoes, beetroot, and other salad vegetables.
Selection of cold sandwiches.
A selection of hot and cold sandwiches are also available, such as sesame seed stir fry & hummus in flatbread, a fish finger wrap with tartar sauce, roast beef with horseradish, and flaked roast salmon.
Selection of hot sandwiches
Mum and I both went for hot sandwiches, which were £5.95, but because the staff were still getting used to the new system, it took a while to get served, and by the time we sat down with our sandwiches, they had gone cold. I think the main issue was with the drinks. They now do frappes and smoothies, which take time to prepare, but not long enough to give you a waiting card to take to your table. I'm sure these teething problems will get sorted out.
Aside from not being hot, my open bruschetta was delicious, and a particularly good choice for vegetarians. Two thick slices of seeded wholemeal bread was topped with goats cheese, aubergine, courgette, and mushrooms.
Elys has experimented with various side offerings in the past, from ready salted crisps, parsnip crisps, chips, and salad. Now they have gone for tortilla chips and lettuce. These cheesy sticks are okay, but nothing special, and Mum said she would prefer less of the fancy stuff if they put more focus on the main part of the meal.
Mum's choice of sweet chilli tuna with red pepper and spring onion did not live up to the same expectations as my bruschetta. The filling was absolutely woeful, and she could hardly detect any of the ingredients mentioned. It was a definite case of style over substance.
Cakes and Pastries
Undeterred, I went back to the bar for dessert. They have a wide choice of pastries and cakes, including chocolate eclairs, giant meringues, fruit tarts, scones, danishes, and more. These were priced between £1.85-£3.95
Rose & Pistachio Cake
My eyes were drawn to a large cake sitting under a dome. It was not labelled, but it looked like it has pistachio nuts sprinkle over the top. A taste test confirmed that it was rose and pistachio with a cream and raspberry jam filling. No disappointments there.
If you become a loyal customer, you'll get extra benefits from their coffee club. Every time you buy a pot of tea or cup of coffee (£1.75-£2.75), you will be given a stamp in your club stamp card. Once filled, it entitles you to a free cup. Since the card only requires two stamps, then you'll find yourself getting lots of free drinks.