We trudged through the village of Prestbury where I once bought a packet of posh bacon off Corrie’s Jim McDonald. No sign of celebs (not even Robbie Savage) here though today in the cafe that we have chosen – Henry’s. This is my third time here and I recall it was fine before (sat out in the courtyard with a fry-up) but today it is raining and February so it’s indoors on the only free table which is meant for six people.
Henry’s USP is that the boss is a 23 year-old with the learning disability Fragile X Syndrome and is sometimes present to hug the customers. I think some of the staff may also have disabilities, which would be great but I don’t like to ask. I am yet to see the eponymous Henry but have met their cute furry dachshund that seems to spend the whole time looking for sausage and finding ways of getting them in his mouth. Like most gay men I suppose.
We ordered a Full English each and a latte. When my drink came it had splashes on the outside of the cup, bits of black inside the cup and looked like it hasn’t been washed since the last ice age. I complained, worried that someone with a learning disability had done it. But no, the problem was the waitress simply could not be arsed and responded blithely with: ‘Well it’s just a splash’. Er no, nimwit, what about the dirt inside too? She replaced it with good grace and I hoped she would not add some gobbage to our drinks.
Scribed on the wall was the first line from Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr: ‘God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change’. Except they could easily change my cup and replace my bacon that was a bit burned. Oh and the sausage supplier (Jim McDonald had sold up though) as it was a bit meh. And the waitress didn’t ask what sort of bread we wanted, so I presumed they were mind readers or related to Derren Brown.
This cafe supports the charity for Fragile X which is great but it is basically a greasy spoon in an affluent village. If you visit the tiny loo, you pass through a smog of cooking fumes and you start to wonder why this place has so much appeal. Maybe there isn’t much competition? The dull furniture is wooden and country kitchen while the tables are covered in vinyl. Chequered floor tiles to tread on but at least there are a few pictures of local buildings on the wall with a few ducks a la Hilda Ogden’s living room. There is also a bit of music at a reasonable level and the wifi works fine though you get the impression it’s not used by many of the gossipy customers in flowery Joules jumpers.
Two strangers arrived and sat the end of our table. They were the classic couple that live around here. He, ugly and loaded. She, high maintenance and vapid but attractive if you like banging plastic dolls. She had clearly just had her lips done and looked like the monster in the first level of Manic Miner. They stared at their phones when she wasn’t barking at him, presumably asking for a new handbag or another wheelbarrow of fifty-pound notes.
I don’t want to seem uncharitable by slating a worthy cafe doing good things but it needs to improve the service – people are paying for food here. This is Prestbury and it should deliver at a certain level. This isn’t bloody Morrison’s cafe!
The dachshund appeared barking as the synthetic moneygrabber woman started on her cash cow bloke again. We got up to leave, we’d had enough of noisy greedy dogs for one day.
Good: Vibe, cause, dog
Bad: Serveuse de merde