Saturday, 19 February 2011

A review of 5 on Church St*

Church Street, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire

At only three months old, 5 on Church Street is still sufficiently ‘underground’ for me to feel quite smug about discovering it before it hits the ‘mainstream,’ as a cafe of this awesomeness inevitably will. That said, it seems that enough people have already heard about 5 on Church Street by word of mouth or happened across it whilst on an afternoon stroll to make the dining room reassuringly bustling on a Saturday afternoon.

Reminding me what a small world we live in (well those of us living in East Herts/ West Essex anyway), it turns out that the friendly chap taking our order and chatting to me at the till is in fact a school friend’s housemate. However, as I didn’t know this when I first visited, you can still consider this review to be in the spirit of independence you have hopefully come to know and trust. 

On first entering, the ‘deli wall’ provides an interesting distraction and allows you to loiter inconspicuously eyeing up the produce on offer for long enough to work out if there’s a table going free. Once you’ve negotiated the small children and wine-sipping middle England to find your table, you find yourself faced with a menu which is wholesome, hearty and just what the doctor ordered on a grey day in February - breakfasts, roti wraps, jacket potatoes and pizzas sitting comfortably alongside creatively envisaged salads and cake selection. 

I had the ‘mini grill English’ – a smaller version of the ‘full grilled big English’ – which was more than enough to fill me up for brunch. I had my egg poached as I find this is usually a good test of a chef’s prowess and was pleasantly surprised when it turned up cooked to perfection. I thought the addition of a potato cake to an otherwise typical English breakfast was a nice touch too. My cafe accomplice had the corned beef hash which was expertly seasoned and generously proportioned – a triumph all round. 

Corned beef hash

I enjoyed the wide selection of teas (provided by Teapigs), choosing the caffeine-free Rooibos over my usual latte. However, although the espresso in my partner’s cappuccino tasted great, the milk was a little bit soggy – next time stiffer foam would win me over as most coffee lovers prefer their cappuccino ‘dry’. 

I’m so pleased to have a new pet cafe to eat away a Saturday hangover or for a special treat on a day off and I’m looking forward to sampling the other delights on the menu in a future evening visit. Seeing as they’ve reached such a high standard after only being open a short time, I can’t wait to see what this place can do and how it will adapt as the seasons change. 

You can find 5 on Church Street on Facebook here

*5 on Church Street renamed Saint’s Kitchen - now closed down (April 2012) :(


  1. This is a must try. It serves great food indeed.

  2. Are you based in Herts? If so, have you tried Soko Coffee St Albans? Best coffee in Herts for sure! Me and my wife started buying our morning brew here for the first time 3 years ago and they are still going strong! Worth a look.

    Love your blog by the way!

  3. Hi Toby,

    Thanks for the tip, I'll make sure I get over to St Albans and check it out soon.

    Thanks for reading.

  4. Tried to go here for lunch today and sadly discovered that it has closed. A real loss for Bishop's Stortford. :(