Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
Caffe Society Matt and Cat’s have passed by the curiously spelt Caffe Society many times, en route to Superbuys. It was on a return...
Caffe Society

Caffe Society

Matt and Cat’s have passed by the curiously spelt Caffe Society many times, en route to Superbuys. It was on a return trip from that discount emporium that they decided to pop into Caffe Society for a spot of post-January sales lunch. From the outside the cafe looks pleasant with its burgundy and gold livery and inviting blackboards offering specials. An unusual and commendable aspect of the cafe is its promotion of Fairtrade. This worthy aspiration is particularly clear once inside, as the cafe is adorned with Fairtrade posters, as well as Tibetan flags and associated ‘Free Tibet’ literature. Needless to say the modest menu on offer is largely Fairtrade stuff, and there is the opportunity to buy Fairtrade goods. However, the interior could perhaps do with a refit; the walls are lined with what looks like card shop fittings and carpets are a bit passé for food establishments.

Fairtrade or no, the food shouldn’t be stereotyped as cous-cous and tofu for the yoghurt-weaving brigade as might be expected. In fact, Caffe Society offers plenty of traditional cafe fare including sandwiches, baguettes and baked potatoes. Matt soon spotted the all-day breakfast on offer and, with a tiny bit of negotiation was able to swap the beans for an additional fried egg. Cat decided to try the egg and cress sandwiches with a cup of tea.


All-day breakfast

A pot of tea was duly drawn and, to your reviewers delight, came with a tea strainer. Loose tea leaves! For the first time since starting this eating out guide, M and C were served loose tea in a pot. Fairtrade tea at that, which tasted really excellent. The pot held an abundance of tea – more than they could drink, despite having about three cups each. Also, there was more than enough milk and the cups came with saucers. That’s how tea should be served.

The cafe soon filled up with shoppers and it seems to be a very popular place, particularly amongst older people. There was barely enough time to read the interesting literature on the table or one of the cafe’s selection of magazines before the meals arrived.

Egg and cress sandwich

Egg and cress sandwich

Matt’s breakfast was very good value for money at £3.95. The bacon was nice and meaty and with a generous two rashers, two pieces of toast, two eggs and two sausages, the meal was given the thumbs up from breakfast afficienado Matt. Cat’s egg sandwich was served with a small salad garnish. The eggs were nicely covered with mayonnaise and there was plenty of tangy cress.

Caffe Society offers a range of light bites at reasonable prices. The tea is particularly good and highly recommended. This cafe is a busy place with worthy credentials, but there’s no compromise on quality or value. A good example of successfully practising what you preach.
Caffe Society, Newport

  • da yw wyth says:

    Well, time has moved on since Kaz’s comment and I can honestly say this is the most friendly and helpful welcome I have received in Newport for many a long day. Super and freshly-made soup, very satisfactory. No nonsense here with a baffling array of obscurely-named coffee – good old filter coffee, and very nice too. The place has the comforting feel of the 1980’s about it, though the well-designed chairs – which are solid and all match, have a hint of the 1960’s about them. To summarise, a great place – and no, I do not have any connection with the business or the proprietors 🙂

  • kaz says:

    I visited this cafe recently, I had never visited before and found the surroundings very pleasant. However I found the service less so. The girl behind the counter must have been having a bad day as she was more interested in talking to her friends and swearing than giving us any attention. The food we orderd was ok but the wrong order! You won’t catch me in there again!

  • Gill says:

    We visited on a horrendously wet and windy day when the traffic around Newport was grid-locked and it took an hour and a half to crawl less than 2 miles. Finding somewhere to park was a total nightmare, so we were certainly in need of a pick me up. Ventured upstairs and loved the mosaic table tops, agreed the decor was tiny bit shabby this did not bother us in the least, as the place had a good vibe. The food was great. We were astounded at the cheap prices. I had the sundried tomato and lentil melt, hubby and son both had the tuna melt. Really generously sized portions and very tasty. Followed by choclate cake, home made and delicious, washed down with milk shakes. Would recommend to hungry families on a budget.

  • Sammy says:

    After reading your comments i darted in there this morning to get out of the downpour, and had a Toasted tea cake and a pot of tea, all for a very good £1.99. as said by matt and cat the tea was real tea and very nice too. the tea cake was also nice. The lady on the counter was very friendly and i would definatly go there again.

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