Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Cafe Churchill, Whitehall

Today I paid a miserable visit to Cafe Churchill on Parliament Street in Whitehall. It is so awful that I can barely find the words to describe this aggressive little cesspit of an eatery.

The few waiters and single waitress are initally friendly, welcoming and efficient. Then they become pushy and abrupt, asking if you want everything "large" - which is actually 'regular', but it gives them a mandate to charge exorbitant prices for apparently edible produce which is so below par that I'd rather spend my money in Charing Cross McDonald's. After the pubs close on a Friday night. Even a Saturday night.

Churchill's menu is littered with grandiose terminology. I opted for the Imperial Hot Dog, the cheapest item on the menu at £5.60. It arrived with a salad consisting of three anaemic lettuce leaves. Mmm, yummy.

The waitress bullied me into ordering chips. Soggy, re-heated oven chips - about 10 of them. £3.50. Three pounds and fifty pence. On top of the £5.60.

The 'Imperial' did not describe the hot dog, but must have instead related to the despotic waitress who served me, whose priorities included the establishment of a warped little empire via the cafe's menu.

She served me a bland frankfurter on an equally bland white baguette. The ketchup was clearly watered-down and the cheese was from one of those cheap packets of sliced processed yellow squares found in corner shops for 15p.

The bill was sky high, which I was expecting. I was not anticipating the adding-on of a service charge, though. This is a grubby little cafe; tips are discretionary, no?

No. When I asked for it to be removed, Ms Despot informed me it was a compulsory charge, and that I had to pay it because it said so on the menu and I should have noticed it.

This experience angered and saddened me. I'd always choose an independent cafe over a Starbucks, Caffe Nero or Costa Coffee because they're (almost literally) being eaten up in London, which is a massive shame.

In conclusion, do not go to Cafe Churchill. It is utterly atrocious and stays afloat by targeting tired tourists sheltering from the rain. And stupid people like me.

Just so you know when to cross the other side of the road, it's located at 49 Parliament Street, SW1A 2NH.

This is (probably) my last cafe review, I promise.

Pic credit: martinlubikowski


  1. NOOOOOOOOO. don't stop posting cafe reviews. You have taught me never to go to Enis's and now Cafe Churchill. You seem to have pretty bad luck with cafes but your misfortune spares mine :)

    Lindsey xxx

    P.s I can't believe you have no comments on your blogs, you're a wonderful writer. Shame on you people!

  2. I'm glad you like them - and at least one person comments, have you read Ghost forest? Join the debate... you know you want to.