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“Excellent Food and Service” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Royal Exchange Grand Cafe and Bar

Royal Exchange Grand Cafe and Bar
Ranked #1,591 of 22,204 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $19 - $50
Cuisines: Cafe, European, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Breakfast, Drinks, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: City of London
Description: Located in one of the City���s most magnificent landmarks, The Royal Exchange Grand Caf�� attracts a mix of smart local business professionals, shoppers and tourists who use it as an atmospheric pit stop any time of day. Built in 1565, The Royal Exchange has survived two fires and its Grade 1 listed columns and arches are now home to a selection of luxury shops and this great restaurant. Situated in the original courtyard, a chic oval bar serves a superb selection of crustaceans. Head chef Oliver Prince has combined his passion and enthusiasm for cooking with seasonal ingredients to create a simple, tasty and elegant menu. Popular dishes include the roast lobster thermidor with new potatoes and salad; the chargrilled sirloin steak with chips and B��arnaise; and the chocolate profiteroles.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“Excellent Food and Service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2014

Stopped here for lunch and was greeted immediately by friendly staff as soon as we entered the Centre. Atmosphere is stunning and light. The service was fast and attentive and the food was excellent and good value for when the bill arrived. The waitress was attentive and smiling throughout our time there and made our lunch such a extremely enjoyable experience that we shall be returning very soon.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank lucnhdiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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301 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    98
    127
    51
    12
    13
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Letchworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
281 reviews
186 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Average Food, Poor Service”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2014

Have been here a couple of times for casual business meetings, both times the service was extremely poor. The tea is probably amongst the worst I've ever tasted, the coffee wasn't much better and the food was adequate at best.

Just a note of caution, they have a 30 minute break between breakfast and lunch, so you can't order any food between these times. I think it was 11.30-12 though I may be mistaken.

Overall, not great.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Tomby1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chandlers ford
Level Contributor
143 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Give yourself a break from city sightseeing with a rest at this place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2014

Light, airy, with boutiques all round- if you're sight seeing in the City this is a great place to come in for a rest. There are decent size tables and you can order a coffee and cake which is what we did, and rest without feeling that you're being pushed into a corner of starbucks. Not cheap - pistachio cheese cake slice was a fiver, and coffee/teas around £4; but it's a great treat (Alternatively - take your starbucks coffee in hand and have a good old wander round !)

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank tourista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baslow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“You called, sir”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2014

Having arrived early for a meeting in the City of London I wanted to relax with a coffee and read the paper. I had emerged from Bank station into pouring rain and wanted to find somewhere before I got drenched. I quickly headed past the Bank of England and found a place to shelter momentarily so that I could get my bearings. When I looked up from the map on my phone I noticed steps leading up into the Royal Exchange and wondered if there would be somewhere for coffee.

I was not disappointed.

As I entered the main hall of the former Stock Excange, which is now home to some of the most famous retail brands in the world, I was greeted by a large oval bar with chairs and tables to the left and right of the central bar.

The Grand Cafe, as it is called, is about as far from a typical branch of CostaStarNero as you can get and as I walked towards the bar for a seat (all the tables were occupied) I decided that I didn't care how much it was going to cost. I was here and I was going to savour the opulent surroundings.

The service was a little slow, but given the number of customers at 9am the small team of waiters and waitresses seemed largely unflappable and always pleasant, as they scurried around. It actually didn't take long to get served and I often think that we Brits are getting a bit impatient when we don't get served right away. Ironically, if we do get an eager waiter asking if we're ready to order we only send them away asking for more time, but I digress.

I only ordered a cappuccino and almond croissant, so my review is somewhat limited, but the cappuccino was excellent: creamy foamed milk, a dusting of chocolate and a good strength of espresso on which the drink was created. The croissant was perfectly fresh and crumbled accordingly. The bill came to just £5.75 (including 12% service charge), which I thought was very reasonable and compares well to the prices charged by the high street coffee chains.

The setting is magnificent, the service excellent and it is a real pleasure to be waited on, rather than having to queue as you did when you were in the school canteen.

I can't wait to for another excuse to visit.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank LeDrole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Possibly the worst food I have ever been served”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2014

It's not often I'm moved to write a restaurant review. Most of the time I realise that food is a subjective topic and that (pun intended) one man's meat is another man's poison. I'm also aware that there are many millions of starving people in the world who don't have the luxury of eating out, let along having enough food to subsist on. With that out of the way let's continue on to the review.

The Royal Exchange Grand cafe is in a grand setting - the marble temple of one of London's finest buildings. So it was there I arranged to meet a business associate for a quick brasserie-style lunch that didn't require reservations.

We were seved by a delightful French waitress who was courteous and attentive. It wasn't her fault that my first choice of classic hamburger wasn't available. So I quickly chose the venison cottage pie with brussel sprouts and chestnuts, Reader, like me you probably imagine a crusty pie filled with delectable chunks of tender venison, crispy sprouts and sizzling chestnuts, What you would not have expected was a cardboard container of tasteless pastry enclosing a greasy soup of greyish gravy, soggy melted cheese in which hid the odd piece of rubberised meat of an uncertain age. The side order of sprouts and chestnuts was more a soggy mess of green and brown objects swimming in a puddle of oily melted butter. Had I attempted to consume this appalling mess I would have had to first make sure the path to the Gentlemen's Room was clear.

The waitress was a star. She also took one look at the gruel and immediately apologised. The hamburgers had mysteriously reappeared as a menu option and so my first choice again became available. My hamburger arrived 15 minutes later. It looked quite nice. A nice patty of beef sheltered in a crusty sesame bun with some appealing fat french fries. Regrettably the illusion of perfection soon disintegrated - as did the burger patty. The last time I tasted anything so salty was when I accidentally swallowed a mouthful while floating in the Dead Sea. Add in the fact that grease and fat oozed through the meat and you'll understand why this too was discarded.

The French fries were terrific and - to be fair - we were pleasantly surprised when the final bill showed the venison and burger had already been deducted from the bill.

But it would have been preferable to have enjoyed the lunch and paid the full whack.

Honestly, I've seem more appealing food in the first five minutes of "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares". The Great Man (i.e. Gordon Ramsay) should try lunch at the Royal Exchange Grand Cafe and Bar. It would be the best TV show of the year.

To our lovely French Waitress - whatever they are paying you - it's not enough

  • Visited January 2014
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
6 Thank TrussWrodbrochen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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