Glutton and Glee in Guildford - On the Tea Shop Trail
PUBLISHED: 10:50 29 January 2014 | UPDATED: 10:50 29 January 2014
Glutton & Glee
In her latest adventure, our columnist Louise Johncox pays a visit to Glutton & Glee in Guildford, one of the finalists in the recent Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards
Opened by Julia Elkhadraoui in April 2011, Glutton & Glee offers a friendly, homely escape in the heart of Guildford, where good quality local food and excellent service are guaranteed.
“Glutton & Glee was created to offer customers a choice away from the chain coffee shops and provide locally sourced, quality food and drink that is wholesome and home-made,” says Julia.
It certainly seems to be working with readers of this magazine voting Glutton & Glee a runner-up in the tea/coffee shop of the year category at the Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards in October.
When I stepped into Glutton & Glee, the café felt cosy and modern with a hint of a bygone era.
“Our decor is retro/vintage with a fresh modern touch,” says Julia. “Our old-school chairs re-sprayed in bright colours really set off the tactile wooden interior.”
There are several items for sale too – such as chocolate peppermint creams (£4.95) and also teapots (£25) – that would also make the perfect gift for a chocolate loving tea drinker like me.
I met my Mum, Frankie, sister, Georgina and niece, Hannah, for tea. We sat at a window table, perfect for a good view of the cakes on the counter and the passers-by. There are three tables downstairs and five upstairs; on the day we visited, they were nearly all full and the place was buzzing.
“The ground floor of the café is where all the excitement takes place at our main counter and service area,” says Julia. “Our tiny kitchen is just at the back and all our food is prepared here. The three tables in the window are great for watching the world go by.
“The upstairs has most of our seating, including our cushioned bench, which is popular for taking your time over a pot of tea and home-made cake.”
On the menu…
A chalkboard advertises the food on offer ranging from award-winning steak pies (£4.75) to original sandwiches such as cheddar with pear, date and ale chutney (£4.95). According to Julia, the most popular dishes are: eggs Benedict (£5.25/£7.30); savoury tart with salad (£7.95); and, of course, coffee/tea and cake (prices vary depending on cakes). The majority of food items are sourced locally or made on the premises.
“Our morning pastries come fresh from Gails Bakery in London, cupcakes from Butter & Cream Cakes in Milford and we make delicious tray bakes and gluten-free cakes,” says Julia.
The most popular cakes are apparently the chocolate brownies (£2.45), lemon polenta cake (£3) and sticky chocolate cake (£3) – all gluten-free.
We shared a coconut and raspberry slice (£2.45), a red velvet muffin (£1.15), which reminded me of a slice of black forest gateau, and lemon and ginger cake (£2.45), which was nice and crunchy on top. The loose leaf tea (£2.30 for a pot for one) added to the teatime experience and charm of the café.
Julia’s plans for the year ahead are to keep developing the home-made cake selection and the office catering service. The location of the café, off Guildford’s cobbled street, is ideal to escape the weekend crowds. The atmosphere is welcoming and there is plenty on the menu to excite the taste buds. We’ll be back!
Need to know:
Glutton & Glee, 6 Tunsgate, Guildford GU1 3QT. Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm; Saturdays, 8am to 5.30pm; and Sundays, 9am to 5pm. Tel: 01483 452934
Louise Johncox’s parents, Peter and Frankie, ran Peter’s tea shop in Weybridge from 1958 until 2000 when they retired. Louise has written a book about her parents’ tea shop, The Baker’s Daughter, due to be released this spring (see louisejohncox.com/index.htm).