One of Matt and Cat’s previous experiences of supermarket cafes was not favourable. In fact, it was this particularly rubbishy experience that inspired them...

One of Matt and Cat’s previous experiences of supermarket cafes was not favourable. In fact, it was this particularly rubbishy experience that inspired them to start their Isle of Wight eating out guide. So, when they visited Tesco’s in-store cafe, their expectations were not high.

Looking forward to giving the place a good kicking, Matt and Cat gleefully entered the area of Tesco set aside for all-day breakfasts, incredibly cheap cream teas and hot meals (according to the hand-written signage). Despite it being tea time, they were pretty much the only customers and, looking at the ‘choice’ of food, it was easy to see why. Apparently, the lunchtime selection is quite comprehensive, however early evening patrons will find a much-restricted menu.

The very friendly lady behind the servery kindly went through the dishes available which were as follows: sausage roll and chips, pasty and chips, omelette (plain or cheese) and chips, baked potato and cheese. Bit of a carbohydrate theme. Matt and Cat decided to play safe and have omelette cooked to order rather than one of the illuminated pastries relaxing under the hot-lamps. On enquiring about vegetables, Cat was given the option of beans; or nothing. Beans it was. Water was freely available on request.

Having gathered cutlery and sauces from the trolley, Matt and Cat sat in the window seat overlooking the kiddie rides and the car park; a good spot for people watching. Meanwhile, inside the cafe, the servery lady metaphorically put on her chef’s hat and cooked their meals.

Before long, their dinners arrived. The crinkle cut chips looked nice and brown but not burnt, the omelette appeared perfectly cooked and fluffy with cheese oozing out from its lips and the beans were, well, beans. And it was all delicious! And, the very best bit was the price – £4.05 for two plates of freshly-cooked omelette and chips (one with beans). You couldn’t buy the ingredients for that. However, the choice of meals was pitifully limited.

Tesco is the supermarket giant, its third-world debt sized profits garnered from its healthy eating campaigns, five-a-day labelling and er… financial products. Goodness knows the Tesco cafe is cheap, and actually not half as bad as Matt and Cat expected. But why, oh why, can’t its cafe contribute to the firm’s own nutritional marketing? Although, a bit of research on the interweb reveals that baked beans do count towards your five-a-day!

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  • sniggup

    23rd June 2011 #1 Author

    Had the misfortune of meeting with the ‘Rents in Costa today, behind the servery was FILTHY. The woman’s hands were filthy, the coffee machine was filthy and she wiped the Milk Frothing Thing with a Filthy Cloth. Luckily I only had an Apple Juice , untouched by said Filth I hope. I assumed the woman had been SO BUSY she could not keep her station clean, although there’s no excuse for it of course, then realised the Manager was busying herself talking to, I assume, her husband and kids, rather than clearing the tables or assisting her colleagues. I thought Costa was a reputable brand.

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  • Neil (local)

    10th June 2009 #2 Author

    I actually use to enjoy having breakfast here while shopping and found it very resaonbly priced. But the new store has done away with the cafe and has a Costa Coffee instead. God knows why Tesco have done this because i’m sure most of their customers are not in the habit of paying over the odds for a cup of coffee. And a store of this size should have a propper cafe. Bad move Tesco!

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  • Madeline

    30th April 2007 #3 Author

    Tesco used to do a really good breakfast with fresh mushrooms and lots of nice choices. All of a sudden, they changed the options menu slightly and also some of their ingredients. Not for the better. I’ve tried a few times but been let down each time. The staff are friendly and courteous but the brekkie is all hard dried bacon, yukky mushrooms cooked from frozen and the cheapest of the cheap for their sausages.

    They’ve also taken away the newspaper rack – I assume cos people were nicking them.

    When I have dropped the kids at school and have to face the weekly shop at the supermarket, I do like to start off with a good breakfast as a treat. Tesco fails miserably.

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