Standing on the High Street, in a centuries-old staredown with The Grand Café (its rival for the title of '
I met my companion there on a Friday lunchtime, finding the café busy but not overcrowded. She'd found a seat in one of the big bay windows, which are one of the most striking features of the coffee house, and we looked through the extensive menu. While there were plenty of tempting options such as moussaka, fish and chips, and a wide variety of paninis and wraps, I chose the grilled halloumi salad, while my companion opted for the 'Eastern Promise' platter. We also decided to try two of the café's fresh-pressed juices - I went for orange, apple and carrot, while my companion chose the raspberry, banana and apple juice.
The juices arrived quickly, and while I had been a little apprehensive about the carrot portion of the drink, I was pleasantly surprised - it cut through the sweetness of the orange and apple, making the juice very refreshing. Our meals soon followed, both well-presented and with hearty portion sizes. My halloumi salad was generous with the cheese and avocado, and the base of green leaves was lifted by the inclusion of chopped-up sundried tomato, olives, cherry tomatoes and a few slices of gherkin. My companion's platter was larger than she'd expected, with falafel, dolma, chickpea salad, hummus and yoghurt, and a bowl full of strips of warm pitta bread.
The salad was crisp, savoury and very filling. The halloumi had a perfect salty edge, complemented by the richness of the sundried tomato. My only criticism would be that the cherry tomatoes still had their stalks, and some of the olives had not been pitted, making it a little difficult to eat gracefully! My companion thoroughly enjoyed the different components of her platter - I tried one of the dolmas with some yoghurt, and found that the creamy tartness of the yoghurt went well with the sharpness of the vine leaves.
Unfortunately we didn't have time to try any of the Queen's Lane Coffee House's teas, coffees or cakes, but the other diners around us certainly seemed to be enjoying them. If you're looking for a satisfying lunch in the city centre, the Queen's Lane Coffee House is a sound choice.