Thursday, 10 February 2011

A review of South Street Pantry

70 South Street, Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom, CM23 3AZ

In a part of the world otherwise bereft of characterful places in which to eat breakfast or while away a Sunday afternoon, South Street Pantry is a welcome tonic. Many a day off or weekend has been wasted for a lack of suitable eating houses in and around my home town and many have ended up supping on soggy chips at the local watering hole.

Although a tentative exploration of this small market town recently brought other promising establishments to light which I will review in due course, it was reassuringly refreshing to be recommended this place by a friend and find it lived up to all expectations. Intimate, kitsch, quaint, with awesome food, and in Bishops Stortford – never?!

The attention to which the decor has been paid is not lost on me, and I especially like the feature wall of mismatched wallpaper. This business is clearly a labour of love – as you would expect from a family business. Run by a mother – son combo with Nana’s Jam thrown in for good measure this cafe shows the kind on entrepreneurial spirit so often borne out of a recession.

The counter at the front of the cafe is loaded with exquisite looking cakes, muffins and other treats so that any innocent bystander could easily find themself inadvertently drawn into the warm embrace of that familiar ritual of ordering tea and cake.  With a small but more than adequate menu, Delicious has really got to the heart of customer demand by providing classic breakfast and afternoon tea options alongside more hearty lunchtime fare including soups, sandwiches and ploughman’s.
 I had the American pancakes which were generously proportioned, light, fluffy and went well with the syrup and fruit compote provided. A little extra compote next time, however, would be well received. I dragged my boyfriend along with me in the spirit of research and he had the goat’s cheese and red onion quiche which he remarked was, “probably the best quiche I’ve ever had.” This honour – I should point out – is no mean feat given that he is of the Jamie Oliver inspired generation of home chefs who consider their tastes superior to the likes of you and I.

Despite the abundance of small, screaming children (it was a Saturday afternoon after all) I would definitely come back to South Street Pantry for two reasons: 1. The food is awesome. And 2. I’m so excited and impressed that a cafe which would not be out of place on a trendy London high street has decided to set up shop in an otherwise unremarkable town. “Good quality cafes for the masses” I hear you cry...

You can find South Street Pantry online here and on Facebook.


  1. Adam Jones from Delicious15 February 2011 at 05:19

    Hi Clare,

    Just wanted to say a massive thank you for your kind words! I've blasted it on facebook, even mum & dad have put a link on their pages. Say hello next time you're in. Adam x

  2. Can you tell me more about the current bun in the oven?

  3. Now renamed South Street Pantry -