Harlequin’s Café

Cafe: Harlequin Cafe and Tea House
Address: 2 Kings Square
Average Baguette Price: £4.50
Rating: * * *

Going to Harlequin’s café is a bit like a quick visit to Diagon Alley – finding the place is no easy task. It’s just off the shambles on Kings Square, and your only aid is an oddly patterned doorframe roughly opposite to Millie’s cookies.

The café is upstairs and has the sort of airy feel to it which borders on the bit-too-empty. The staff looked at us suspiciously when we entered; “Muggles?”, whispered one young waitress.

We sat next to a vaguely antique-looking mirror which brightened the room nicely. But my cynical accomplice was not so sure. “It’s a bit nursery school”, she sneered in a voice that, if this Harry Potter theme must continue, sounded like a embittered, recently widowed Hermione Granger.

I was missing home terribly, so ordered a Wiltshire ham and chutney baguette with an organic elderflower drink. Granger tried to order a baked potato – not a medal-winning choice – but thankfully they were all out. She settled, strangely, for a prawn salad with weird cheesy bread, recommended by the slightly apologetic woman in charge.

But the baguette came quickly and, as expected, was a pretty solid effort. Sad to see a pile of crisps on the plate, but the chutney was excellent. Finally, on paying, it turned out they didn’t accept cards, as if it was 1993.

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