I had a bit of a thirst on me when I got here today. My top lip had stuck to my gums so as I entered, I looked like I was doing a bad James Cagney impression. Anyhoo I’ve visited this caff a lot since it opened in the mid-naughties on the site of where the Lamb Hotel used to be. This is the third and most-impressive of a chain of three cafes (the other two being in Telford and Oswestry).

It’s since been through a few refurbs, the latest introducing plastic chairs (look a bit crap but comfy enough) and my pet hate: high chairs. I still don’t see the point in them apart from where space is at a real premium. Do people feel superior looking down on their fellow eaters whilst simultaneously trying to keep their balance? Or is it to provide some form of childhood regression where the staff will come and fit you with a bib? Mind you, rusks are quite nice….

The trendy decor includes a couple of wall-mounted TVs (with relaxing fishbowl and ocean scenes) and mood lighting. There’s the usual spotlights, plenty of hanging on-trend lighting present; the concertina style brushed stainless steel multi-directional type and hanging gold filament lamps. I’m not boring you am I?

Other interesting features include a blue aqua box as I call it (a vertical glass tank in which bubbles rise) and a small number of booths, though the large curved table at the back which was my favourite (and I used to hog) has been removed which is a shame.

If you have to work in a cafe, this is one of the best to work in (when the wifi works) as it’s comfortable and spacious enough (especially if you avoid busy times). The menu is quite large and there are specials though often few gluten-free or vegan options. You have to order at the counter (there is also a not very generous reward scheme) and the food is brought to you.

Eating here doesn’t come cheap though. £7 for effectively 2 rounds on bread, beans and a latte is a bit steep – in fact it’s almost vertical.  Maybe if they’d not done the latest refurb it would have only been the bargain price of £6.50.

This place was robbed a few years ago and sometimes I feel that it was just one of the punters showing the café what it feels like!

Verdict: 4/5


Spacious and cool


Limited gf options. Pricey