Monday, 30 April 2012

BHS Restaurant, Stratford-upon-Avon

You know what I am going to write, don't you? The very name has already conjured an image in your mind of plain fare and plastic chairs. All sorts of phrases are running through your mind like, 'family friendly', 'fish and chips', even 'slightly soggy lasagne'. You are right of course. This is a huge space on the second floor of the store, designed to cater for large numbers of hungry folk in search of cheap grub. It is a sort of 'does what it says on the tin' place - but I do not mean that as a criticism.  I was with my sisters and this is a perfect venue for that kind of catch-up occasion as a prelude to shopping. The sibs and I had breakfast, the six-item option which comes with toast. You choose from a bewildering array of beans, tomatoes, hash browns, fried bread, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms - and fried eggs are done on request. There is a £1.99 option where you don't choose the constituents of your meal and have to have a hot drink but that is a bargain. Toast is served with butter, all the food is what my Mum would call 'clean' - no gritty bits or brown crunchy edges - and the turnover is such that it is always piping hot.

Coffees come from a machine so the latte quality suffered - more of a slightly frothy milky coffee; but this is not a venue for the sophisticated coffee drinker. You get a decent mugful and besides, there are a multitude of soft drink alternatives.

Access is excellent, particularly around the food counter and I have always found staff helpful. It can get a little awkward manoeuvring around the tables and chairs as it gets busy.

Being such a large place the atmosphere is better conducive toward hectic, arm waving gossiping than say, a coffee shop. Even if you are on your own there are huge windows with a brilliant view down on the Bancroft Gardens. Sit with your back to the restaurant for some great people watching.

Useful venue for the oncoming zombie apocalypse, too. Good view of the oncoming hordes and plenty of furniture to fight off any incursions.

Latte: *****
Access: *****

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