Page 1 of 2

Foyles is dead to me

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:58 pm
by HumanGazelle
I may have mentioned ( oh just once or twice with the meekest mildest enthusiasm :wink: ) to people who've met me that Foyles on Charing Cross Road in London is a great cafe to go for vegan cake. Well, just to be clear, that was true about 2 years ago. They'd have background jazz at a peaceful level one could either read or talk in, friendly staff, excellent coffee, a wide range of nice teas, and sometimes they'd have up to 6 or 7 varieties of vegan cake to choose from, each more delicious than the last.

We shared great memories, Foyles and me. I had great dates there; I spent great me-time there; once I was writing a song and John Peel sat down at the table next to me (I immediately and self-consciously closed up my folder and started reading instead; as if he was remotely interested of course!). You could people watch over Charing Cross Road; you could look out superiorly over the Starbucks cafe in Borders across the road. Before Time Out so much as realised it was there, Foyles was a bit of a ritual for me.

That was before they kicked the Jazz shop out, and expanded the cafe into the larger space. At that point they still had the cake but none of the love. The increased size means more customer noise, and regular functions and gigs which either mean the cafe's closed to visitors or too loud to sit in. That is, unless you like listening to journeyman jazz performed by jazz students who in all their technical skill, have zero understanding of the concept of melody. Yeah, me neither.

Today I went in to eat away my 10k disaster sorrows (see training log) and what do I find? They've stopped selling all the vegan cakes. Still decent coffee and tea; plenty of eggy cupcakes which look lovely; and admittedly still friendly staff. But loud music and no cake. As a great man once said (me, actually) "Without cake, there is nothing".

That's it, Foyles, we're through. It's over. Capisce? That's it. I hope Borders and Starbucks team up and take you over, commercialise your ass and then close you down in a frenzy of budgeting cutbacks.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:39 pm
by XkillerX
The cake is a lie.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:50 pm
by emm7
:shock:
they've kicked the jazz shop out???
and done away with the vegan cake???
:cry:
I used to love it in that cafe.
:cry:

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:42 am
by HumanGazelle
[quote="XkillerX"]The cake is a lie.


In that case killer, this one's for you:

http://www.steelersgirlenator.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/img00032.jpg

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:48 am
by HumanGazelle
[quote="emm7"]:shock:
they've kicked the jazz shop out???
and done away with the vegan cake???
:cry:
I used to love it in that cafe.
:cry:


Yeah emm - Ray's Jazz is now relegated to the third floor. Dark times indeed for cake-eating jazz fans. Or even people after a decent cafe in central London. The Foyles cafe claim to close at 9pm, but the kitchen's all but shut at 7. Any self-respecting food establishment should advertise their closing time as the last point at which you can order food.

Dark times.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:22 am
by Rainycat
Oh bum, Foyles Cafe was a handy retreat for me when I fancied a chilled sit down and some cake, to escape the West End or do a bit of work on the hoof. I think we should email them with our concerns & ask them to reinstate the cake immediately!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:21 pm
by chloe
damn every time we passed by id say,..'apparently they have vegan cake in their cafe,...' i guess now ill be saying,..'apparently theyve stopped selling vegan cake in their cafe'...

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:25 am
by HumanGazelle
[quote="Rainycat"]Oh bum, Foyles Cafe was a handy retreat for me when I fancied a chilled sit down and some cake, to escape the West End or do a bit of work on the hoof. I think we should email them with our concerns & ask them to reinstate the cake immediately!


:cry:
In other situations, Rainy, I would definitely agree with you that petitioning would be a good idea. But that's more likely to work where a business has decided to switch product ingredients because of price or whatever, not realising how many vegan customers they are alienating. They can be convinced they'll save more money if they switch back. In this situation, Foyles have deliberately chosen not to stock vegan products, based on (so I was told) the fact that they just don't sell well. So they are already aware of how profitable the cakes are.

Convincing them to re-stock with vegan cakes would require convincing them that you can get them more vegan customers. And there's no point trying to convince a business to go vegan and then try and encourage more vegans to go there, when you can just take your vegan custom to a vegan-friendly place and recommend it to other people anyway. :(

For what it's worth, perhaps anyone that walks past should make a point of going in and ask them where their vegan cakes are. It only takes a minute.

I am still on the lookout for a new favourite hangout. :|

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:42 pm
by chloe
ok so they dont do cake, but for excellent coffee you can go to flatwhites on berwick street. Where abouts do you live humangazelle? you were in Hackney werent you? you could always come by pogos for really good cake!

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:53 pm
by spike
That's a shame. I've been in that cafe a couple of times and thought it was really nice although I don't know if I ever had their cake.

BTW (off topic, sorry, but mention of Hackney reminded me) any of you londoners tried out the guy who has "the best coffee in the UK", selling out of a van in Hackney IIRC.?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:04 pm
by chloe
no??? where abouts is this exactly,..ill go check that out for sure!

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:48 pm
by spike
[quote="chloe"]no??? where abouts is this exactly,..ill go check that out for sure!


from a quick google, and assuming it's the same place, at Columbia Rd Flower Marjet on Sundays and Whitecross Rd duirng the week. Dunno if he does soya milk.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:53 pm
by spike
Yep, that's the one:
Article about him in London Evening Standard

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:33 pm
by HumanGazelle
I'm in Bethnal Green now Chloe, so Pogo still isn't that far away. I must come in some time! I do sprints on Hackney Downs sometimes (it's a good course for sprints, plus all the feral kids lurking about only serve to make you run faster).

Gossip on Broadway Market does good cofffe/tea/cake for vegans. It's just a bit too pokey.

Spike, I've seen the man with the van, just never checked out his claim! Will give it a go.

The best coffee I've had in London is Caffe Vergano 1882 on Charing X Rd, although it's not that cosy, there's not much in the way of tea, and there's no vegan food.

And I will check out Flatwhites - thanks for the tip :)
The search continues....

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:00 pm
by chloe
yeah hackney downs is good, i run around there everyday down along the river so my dog can swim, and then scoot up to the spring downs park for some hill work :) its a good place to have near by as a runner eh!

Another good coffee place is Nude on brick lane, at least one vegan works there if nothing else.!