I recently met up with a friend for a quick bite to eat in town. We wanted a no-frills kind of venue that was chilled, served food and allowed us to have a good catch up. We chose Hartleys, the cafe on the corner of Broad street with a cow out front.
First Impressions of Hartleys
My first thoughts were on how busy it was. It was early lunch but the place was packed and we were lucky to get a seat. When we first walked in we went straight up to the salad bar – there’s two desks, one directly in front of you that shows all of the spreads for sandwiches/spuds and one to the left where you order, grab drinks and pay.
The food was traditional cafe food, there’s sandwiches, soups, toasties, salads and jacket potatoes. For drinks you have an array of hot to choose from or you can go exotic with a smoothie or milkshake.
I opted for the tuna jacket with a mango smoothie. My friend had the same smoothie but went for the soup of the day, carrot if I’m not mistaken.
We grabbed our drinks and took the last remaining seats by the window so we could people watch. Our food arrived about 5-10 minutes later.
My jacket was as expected – the tuna was a little on the salty side but I always find they are in sandwich bars (I don’t add salt to anything) – but the skin was crispy and potato fluffy. There was more than enough filling so I could have a large mouthful with each bite. The side salad was a lot larger than I anticipated but was fresh and tasty. I liked the additional glaze on top. The smoothie was a winner for me, I love them and this place does them well.
My friend’s soup came with two slices of bread (you get a choice of which type) which were cut into triangles. Each bit was happily dunked into the soup as we watched the world go by, again it was a nice simple and basic dish.
As a cafe there’s not much to expect. The people at the tills seemed friendly enough, as did the woman who delivered and removed our food. I struggled with finding a chair at the beginning and the woman behind the bar told me it was fine to grab one from outside (it hadn’t been raining) which I did without any issues. It’s that kind of casual place.
I didn’t use the toilets so I can’t comment on them. From memory there wasn’t one in sight so it’s either no facilities or one tucked in the corner somewhere.
hartleys rating: 7/10
£8pp/£16 in total for a lunch and a drink
I can’t really complain, it’s one of those casual places with no frills that does exactly what it says on the tin. I’d recommend it for casual dining or somewhere to grab a quick bite.
Recommended for: friends, couples, quick snacks, no frills, gluten-free, veggies and vegans
Not recommended for: experience or high expectations
Why not try: a milkshake and let me know what they’re like!
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Love for you all x