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La Roche Cafe: A nice quiet cafe to enjoy dessert and coffee!
My friend and I came across it one late evening after we saw a musical. We wanted to go somewhere quiet and we found that a lot of the cafes were closed and we didn't fancy going to a bar or a pub. To our surprise we found La Roche, a lovely quiet cafe, near The London Coliseum which serves coffee and desserts so we decided to go have something to drink there.
I've been to the cafe a number of times since and I highly recommend their lovely Cafe Mocha and their lovely blackcurrant cheesecake (seen in the photos below). I'm sure I'll be returning there on a future trip to London soon.
*I returned in January 2013 and tried their heavenly chocolate brownie cheesecake which was wonderful (seen in photos below)*
Favorite Dish: Love the wide range of desserts and the quiet and homely atmosphere!
Cafe La Roche: Rude, overpriced and underwhelming
This is the first (and hopefully the last) time I'll ever publically complain about the behaviour of serving staff in a London cafe - but Cafe La Roche (the smaller cafeteria next to the main restaurant) takes the biscuit.
I wandered in there yesterday, and asked for a jacket potato with chili - an overpriced £6.75, at that - to take away. Pretty much all the eateries along that stretch of St Martin's Lane offer takeaway food. On hearing the words, 'To take away please', the waitress gave her co-waitress a very odd sideways look, but proceeded to prepare it (it took about 20 minutes) in between serving the other in-house customers, while I sat there feeling very awkward, as if I'd done something terribly wrong.
Finally, she shoved a paper bag at me. When I asked if there was butter included, she growled "It's in there!!", and on being asked for salt and pepper angrily shook her head. "Um... is there some kind of problem?" I asked. "No" she glowered. "Because you seem rather annoyed" I continued. Silence. I suddenly twigged. "Would you have preferred me to eat in, rather than take the food away?" "Yes." Ah. I apologised, said I wasn't aware this was solely a sit-down affair. The waitress glared at me. "But I won't be coming here again" I added, and left.
The irony was, the potato itself was the most miserable, shrivelled affair, with barely a dollop of cold chili on it. Adequate, to say the least. Judging by some of the other online reviews about this place (and I wish I'd read them before I stepped in there, but of course we never do), this is by no means an isolated occurence; outrageously rude service, bog-standard and wildly expensive food...
La Roche isn't doing itself any favours if it wants to cultivate local custom, and appears to exist wholly as a typically overpriced tourist trap. It could well take a lesson from another cafe, Scott's, around the corner, whose staff greet even complete newcomers with a beaming smile, ensuring return visits and instant loyalty. No wonder the place is packed.
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