Hidden away on the top floor, amongst the candles and Kylie bedding sits Cafe Zest
Ah, Kylie bedding. I love the whole sequinny glamour of it, but that’s another blog post for another day, what we’re here to talk about are the edible offerings in the House of Fraser Cafe. Not quite so glamorous.
Pictures of Audrey Hepburn which adorn one wall are about the most glamorous thing in the cafe, which from the other side enjoys a view of the goodies and household nik naks.
A range of tempting looking cakes are at the very front of the cafe to lure you in like a bewitching temptress. Once under their spell, you are to take a tray from the pile and slide it in front of the glass cabinets of sarnies and toasties. To be fair, they all look fresh and appetising and the counter is pristinely clean.
I choose a cheese and tuna toastie (which should really be called a chuna if you think about it) and place it on my tray, it slides it’s way gracefully over to the till, where three members of staff are waiting to serve. One takes my order of an Americano, the second makes the Americano, whilst the third carries my chuna toastie back the area from whence it came to heat it up, meaning it’s had an unnecessary slide.
I pay and am given my Americano which has dribbled down the side of the cup, plus a number on a stick to take with me so they know where to bring my toastie.
I take a seat on the velvet effect seating, you know the type, it’s velvety, but more hard wearing for spillage. I sip on my average Americano and take a look around. The customers are mostly pensioners. They clearly love it, the last grasp at the way things used to be, with the added bonus that they can get a refill for 99p at any point in the day with their receipt. It’s like Gods waiting room cafe and you will always find an old man in braces in these places, always.
11 minutes later my food arrives. 11 minutes for a toastie?? It’s attractively presented enough, the bread is well toasted. That’s where it ends, it had some kind of leafy green vegetable on it. I’m not sure what it was, it was like kale but the texture was like it had been washed in sand, maybe it had.
A waitress came round and asked if everything was ok. I did the very British thing of saying yes. To which she replied ‘Oh well that’s alright then’
That pretty much sums up the experience. It’s alright. It’s clean, it’s inoffensive, I just can’t work out what the attraction is when we have so many great independent cafes in Nottingham.
By Tanya Louise