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“Brilliant!”
Review of Cafe Rouge

Cafe Rouge
Ranked #26 of 368 Restaurants in St. Albans
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: At Cafe Rouge, we fully embrace the pleasure found in delicious, everyday French food and drink, which is why we travel around France to source the best produce, such as our jambon de Bayonne from the Aquitaine region, our pork rilettes from Lille and our Cantal cheese from Auvergne - granted a D.O.P in 1958. We pay meticulous care and attention to the quality of our ingredients, from our sustainably sourced yellow fin tuna in our Nicoise salad to our tender and juicy farm-assured British steaks, or in our new seasonal set menu. We're conveniently situated on the corner of Holywell Hill and Albert Street. Cafe Rouge is the ideal location if you're visiting some of the sights that St Albans has to offer, including St Albans Cathedral (3 minute walk) and the Verulamium Museum with Roman Ruins. Great transport links and close to St Albans Abbey Rail station. We have breakfast, coffee with cake and lunch plates with a cafe feel by day and then a beautiful candle-lit bistro atmosphere by night. If you join us from 7.30pm, the table is yours for the whole evening.
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

I held a networking meeting at Cafe Rouge in St Albans. Everyone was really impressed with the attention to detail, including extra treats, just to make the event that much more memorable. Gill and Napoleon, yes, that really is his name, buzzed around us to make sure we were all happy. Everything was beautifully presented. It should also be mentioned that this all glass art deco building lends itself magnificently to hosting large events and gatherings with panache! Definitely a venue to impress!

Date of visit: November 2018
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Thank FaiComment
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kate C, General Manager at Cafe Rouge, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thank you for your lovely review. We really enjoy hosting networking events in the mornings and like you say, our restaurant being an exhibtion hall lends itself to this type of event perfectly. I will pass on your comments to Gill and Napoleon and we hope to see you again soon.

Best wishes

Kate

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 - 22 of 526 reviews

Reviewed November 8, 2018

My boyfriend and I spent a short break in St Albans on the last weekend of October 2018, arriving on the Friday evening, 26th. We'd been enjoying the Saturday (27th) taking in the sights, listening to the choir practising in the beautiful cathedral after exploring the building itself, walking around the town, visiting the lovely museum and taking in the Roman ruins (on open ground near the cathedral).
As we were feeling quite hungry after a lot of walking, we decided to have an early Dinner - it was only 5pm but we were famished! We remembered seeing a branch of Café Rouge literally at the end of the road our hotel was in, and being great long time fans of the chain we decided to eat there. On arrival, we waited by the door for a staff member to approach - it was still only 5.20pm and the restaurant was almost deserted, there were a large number of spaces all around on many empty tables so we felt confident of being able to eat there.
Well - we waited for a member of staff to come up to us for almost ten minutes despite the place being almost empty (but plenty of staff around?!). My boyfriend politely asked for a table for two - the member of staff (a young woman with short blonde hair) asked if we'd pre booked a table, my boyfriend replied unfortunately sorry, we hadn't. She looked him up and down, then me, and said, ''I'm sorry we don't have anything available, if you haven't booked we can't help you'' - we both then politely asked why not, as the restaurant was almost empty? and there were no obvious 'Reserved' signs on any of the tables that we could see. The young woman just repeated, 'we can't help, sorry!' My boyfriend politely asked, why this was as the restaurant was virtually empty, could they not just find a corner for us somewhere? The young woman just said, again and with an annoyed tone of voice that they couldn't help us as we hadn't pre booked. We both gently tried to ask if we couldn't just be squeezed in somewhere (ironic in a large restaurant that was virtually deserted?!) but she just kept saying no to us.
So - how does this work then?! - no obvious, 'Reserved' signs on any of the tables we could see. A pretty early time, 5.20pm. Only two people. Had EVERYONE in St Albans suddenly decided to pre book EVERY SINGLE SEAT at Café Rouge that day? I really don't think so..... Even if they had taken a lot of bookings, people probably wouldn't have arrived until at least 6pm by which time we would have almost finished our meal.
Also - any good restaurant would NEVER turn money away, they'd find a space or at worst, have to put another small table out to accommodate us. This is common practice.
As so many eateries at all levels are closing, surely EVERY customer counts? Especially for Café Rouge - they've drastically down sized in recent times and you think they'd be acutely aware of the need to attract more customers? We were left feeling confused and quite hurt and angry at this staff member's cursory treatment.
Turning money away is no way to run a business, especially when it's done in such a rude, offhand and quite frankly, imbecilic way - the place was almost devoid of customers and we could have so easily been accommodated. Appalling!

Date of visit: October 2018
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1  Thank Anou-wandsworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kate C, General Manager at Cafe Rouge, responded to this reviewResponded November 10, 2018

Dear Anou-wandsworth,

Thank yo for your feedback, it is much appreciated. If you'd like to email me at stalbans@caferouge.co.uk I can look into this for you.

Kind regards,

Kate Cook

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Reviewed November 7, 2018

I love this building more than the food. The starter of crab and avocado was way too salty, the fish soup okay and the service very good.

Date of visit: October 2018
Thank Cristina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2018

Having never had a great experience at our local Cafe Rouge (Southgate) we thought we would travel further afield.
The location of Cafe Rouge in St Albans is unusual (a former greenhouse I believe), it's a really great and unique environment.
We were seated promptly and served very quickly and we had a most enjoyable meal, our only gripe was that some of the dishes were not available but the staff were happy to recommend some really good alternatives.
I would thoroughly recommend this restaurant for location, quality of food and service.

Date of visit: November 2018
    • Value
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1  Thank AndyGraham16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2018 via mobile

The place is an old green house so is really warm and sunny. We had a cappuccino along with eggs Benedict which were both really nice. Last but not least our waitor Napoleon was really helpful and friendly making our visit there even more pleasant. Top service I would recommend it anytime!!!

Date of visit: October 2018
Thank DimitrisD242
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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