Having lived in the area for a long time and dealing with the 'food wasteland' that is Earls Court by eating elsewhere, or more importantly, taking coffee elsewhere, it was with great anticipation that I tried out the reincarnation of the 'Finborough Wine Cafe'
The website, as displayed above, says pretty much what I wanted to hear, a good cup of coffee is a brilliant thing and when combined with free internet access, I can work and be caffeinated at the same time. iDeal!
Arriving at the refitted venue, the music was good, the place almost empty on a Sunday morning / afternoon, I chose a table near the window so I could watch the world wander by, and so I could be out of the way of others. Up to the bar to order my coffee, a latte, and a pastry, was met with a pleasant hello... Back to my seat, setup and working for a good ten minutes before coffee arrived, then about five minutes later the pastry arrived, a croissant - accompanied by a cute little serving of strawberry jam. I'd already started on my coffee (who wants cold coffee, croissant or not) and I was disappointed to note that it was only just warm when I started it, so by the time the pastry had arrived it was pretty much stone cold - fail.
I figured well, i'll crack on with some work and that perhaps the barista was having a bad day?... (no excuse, but hey) so, sitting there, bit of music, great.. then a conversation starts up between the three people behind the bar, one seemingly a manager of some sort, conversation takes a turn... "I can't just go to marks and spencers and buy more! xxxxx (didn't catch the name) won't like it" ...so, err, when you say locally sourced produce on your website, you mean from M&S which is fine (they make nice cakes right) but the prices you're charging v's what I pay for the same cake at M&S is a big put off I'm sorry to say... Then, the mentality of the staff "If someone asks for something we'll just have to go get it" I don't know that the customer would wait while you run to M&S... It's just all wrong...
Ahh well, I figure it's time for another coffee, same again please (I waited for a different barista to be there) this time the coffee came quickly, it was much much much toooo hot and had a disgusting burnt taste... I gave up, packed my kit away and left the half gone coffee sitting there...
This isn't a "you're rubbish" review... it's a "Earls Court has nothing and you guys have the potential to make something good happen, don't bugger it up!"
- Get some actual Barista training from these guys (they're local!) http://www.thecoffeemachinelondon.co.uk/ (Jon)
- If you're going to get cake from M&S, be realistic about the prices and don't make out like you cooked it yourself.
- Teach your staff not to have 'issues' within earshot of customers... never a good look
There was just one more thing, I didn't look like I was about to run out of the store, I had my laptop setup etc... yet, the person that kindly delivered my coffee waited by the table for me to produce the cash... can't this just happen at the end? much more enjoyable... (especially as the coffee is already cold!)
Please take this on the chin and get better! Earls Court needs you...