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23 January 2011

Experience the awful service at Cafe Churchill

Right at the heart of touristland, at 49 Parliament Street, in Westminster, Cafe Churchill is a fascinating place. Obviously not worried about attracting repeat customers, the staff are amazingly abrupt, and prices for average food are inflated to the point that very few of the thousands of civil servants who work within a few hundred metres ever go back.

On one occasion, sitting in a completely empty downstairs area with friends for lunch, your author was asked to move to a smaller table, which he did. He ate at the new table, as his original one, and all others remained entirely vacant, and left before a single new customer had entered the room.

Your author doesn't want readers to think that he is annoyed with the Cafe at all, in fact he has been back fairly often, and finds the bizarre attitude of those who work there oddly endearing, but he wouldn't want people to misunderstand, and take this as a recommendation.

Even the student rioters seem to have taken it, graffiting the awning with the word 'revolution' during a recent protest, perhaps in an attempt to get the staff to notice them.

For more on Cafe Churchill, try clicking here.


  1. its the only cafe with outdoor seating within sight of parliament square and on the road to and from trafalgar square. no wonder it does not need to bother with service. it must get all its profits from the summer tourist trade.
    the mystery is why did u go there?

  2. I stopped in here last summer after touring the Churchill Museum. I thought it was odd when they crammed me into a table next to some other diners when all the other tables were empty. When I pointed this out, the waitress just frowned and shook her head. Apparently, her English wasn't good.

    I give them points for a decent salad and bread, even if it was overpriced. They knew I was a tourist, and I was hungry. Oh well.

    I do have some fondness for the place because I left three bags of books and souvenirs under the table when I left. I was 100 feet down the busy sidewalk when the waitress came running to find me, bags in hand. Made me wish I'd left a bigger tip.

    You want a really bad tourist cafe experience, check out (or don't) a place called Munchkins, near the British Museum. Horrible food, horrible service. Wish I'd read some online reviews before wandering into that place. Ugh. The memory of those fish n chips still makes my stomach turn.