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“A great example of a Fair Trade, ethical and community focused initiative”
Review of Fairly Square

Fairly Square
Ranked #12,156 of 24,683 Restaurants in London
Cuisines: International
Neighbourhood: Holborn
Restaurant details
Neighbourhood: Holborn
Reviewed 12 April 2014

Fairly Square bills itself as London’s first Fair Trade Bar and Café and I was intrigued to visit having been sent a weblink by a colleague. On visiting it’s clear that it’s more than just Fair Trade and they place an emphasis on the supporting other ethical and community initiatives – for example most of the furniture, glassware etc is from local charity projects and shops.

It’s open all day until late, working as a café by day and bar at night with a full selection of drinks. It’s got a welcoming, cosy feel and while very quiet on the Thursday afternoon that I visited, I can imagine it would be great little venue day or evening if enough (not too many!) people hear about it to create a bit of a buzz.

It’s only a short walk from Holborn Station, along Red Lion Street but is a little tucked away – nonetheless, in my view it’s well worth seeking out as I love what they’re doing.

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1  Thank NSW78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 - 12 of 13 reviews

Reviewed 15 March 2014

I stopped here briefly with a few friends for lunch last week as we were in a hurry and needed food; whilst the food was good the service certainly let the cafe down. Upon our entry it was completely empty with the waitress behind the bar. Whilst we were ordering she seemed both impatient and unfriendly: attempting to encourage us not to order the soup because "it's not very good and (x dish) is better" - giving us the distinct impression that she did not want us there.

I ordered the soup anyway, being told that it would only take ten minutes and we were in a rush: my friends settled for a sandwich and a stew. Ten minutes later... the sandwich arrived. The waitress definitely cheered up by this point and began talking, and despite us still being the only customers in the building she was constantly carrying odd bits food and cutlery around the place.

Forty minutes after being told ten minutes, the soup arrived - and since we had to return to our conference fifteen minutes afterwards the meal seemed incredibly rushed: especially as the stew arrived five minutes after the soup. The food was actually good, even the soup which I was recommended against; however the waitress could definitely learn a lot about punctuality and service. However, kudos to the cafe for being a fair trade cafe: it definitely wins points for that.

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Thank GandalfTheDrunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2014

I've tried lunch here, I've had a drink here, and I've tried their cookies. All good.

There's a nice feel to the place, especially getting away from the bland, Scooby Doo-style chain coffee/sandwich/lunch shops around the main strip of High Holborn.

The folks working here are interesting to chat to - as I've discovered a couple of times popping in on my own and ending up staying for the conversation.

If you're passing by, definitely look in and pick whatever takes your fancy - coffee, beers, lunch or sweet treats. The plantain crisps are a nice choice if you're stuck for ideas.

Oh and generally a good, eclectic selection of music playing too.

Recommended.

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1  Thank Tom L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2013

This is a small fair trade cafe/ bar in an increasingly soulless stretch of London colonized by EATS and Subways and Pret a Mangers. So if you fancy something different with great value food (they do a scrumptious lunch buffet along with soups and sandwiches ) try this place. Cheerful service, comfy sofas and chilled music. I will be going back next time I am in London..

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1  Thank chinchillarat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2013

A cafe serving fair-trade, ethical food and drinks (including alcohol), with eco-friendly paint on the walls, salvaged wood for flooring and 'pre-loved' tables and chairs - how worthy - and grim - is that? Not at all, actually: the food is delicious (brownies, brownies, brownies, yum, yum, yum!), the staff friendly and the vibe funky. The menu isn't extensive, but it does offer enough for most tastes, including hot food, and the ingredients are top quality and I'm pretty sure almost everything, if not everything, is organic. OK, so the exterior does smack a bit of sackcloth and ashes, but the food is anything but. It's not dirt cheap - the sandwiches are about £3.50 and upwards, and cappuccinos (fair trade and organic) are £2.50 - but I'd say it's better value than the 'chain' coffeeshops in the locality, which charge about the same for a lower-quality "panini". It's open at night, too, when they sometimes have musicians and poets and so on performing. Well worth a detour off Holborn.

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1  Thank Atlass2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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