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“The Pantry Needs Perfecting!”
Review of The Higgins Pantry

The Higgins Pantry
Ranked #8 of 418 Restaurants in Bedford
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian, Cafe, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“The Pantry Needs Perfecting!”
Reviewed 19 August 2014

Strengths:

Location: conveniently situated adjoining Cecil Higgins Museum, 5 minutes walk to Bedford High Street; courtyard with tables and chairs to sit and eat outside, in sunshine or shade.

Waiting staff: friendly, helpful and courteous; particularly the young blonde woman behind the till, who was rushed-off her feet with multi-tasking at 2.45pm on a mid-week afternoon, and yet was accommodating and pleasant.

Chocolate cake: our 17 year old son (catering student) awarded this 10/10 :-) He was given a generous portion, so we also felt we got value for money, which makes a surprising change from the thin slivers most cafés serve; it looked delicious!

Savoury main dish: although we didn't eat lunch, a customer on an adjacent table was eating a chicken dish with red peppers - it smelt and looked delicious!

Areas for Improvement:

Internal decor: first impressions matter; it felt like very little thought had been given to the design of this cafe, to ensure the customer feels comfortable whilst enjoying their food. Wouldn't want to visit in wintertime; the coldness of the decor would not warm me up! Eg. Metal furniture, bland walls and low ceiling with boxed pipes.

Furniture: Tables and chairs were unstable; we had to test 2 chairs, before we found some that were safe to sit on!

Hygiene: Tables (and chairs) contained food debris from previous customers; we wiped these ourselves.

Teapots: brown stains inside and on lid rim; don't rely on dishwashers to clean crockery and cutlery 100%, you need the human eye for a final check.

Food: coffee and walnut cake was dry and therefore fell apart; it should be moist and taste of walnut, but the butter cream was good. Expensive bottled water; provide cheaper alternatives for customers.

Management - planning: Don't expect one person to do all the work on the restaurant floor; split shifts are the key during long, busy days, and to ensure staff get the breaks they need.

Managers need to earn their money here! Lots to do to improve a cafe, in a prime location, attempting to be a restaurant :-/

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank R0rena123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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651 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Lunch”
Reviewed 16 August 2014

Been to the Pantry many times in the evening but decided to take wife for a casual lunch. Although not on the menu I had seafood salad which was great and beautifully dressed. My wife had meatballs which are prepared by Vince and she says she has never tasted such good meatballs - trust me she is a harsh critic.

Restaurant packed but totally different clientele to the eves and looking at the ladies I guess a hard act to please.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank shaun k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beds
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Great”
Reviewed 16 August 2014

First visit and won't be last. Fab coffee in nice relaxed atmosphere, sat outside and liked the background music. Do the Higgins museum, go to Higgins Pantry for lunch and finish off a stroll along the river, hard to believe you are in Bedford (if you can avoid the scummy areas a few streets back).

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Gemmmmmmmmmmm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedford
Level Contributor
94 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Super busy, relaxed, informal restaurant with good food.”
Reviewed 8 August 2014

A lovely meal-6 course tapas were excellent but if i wanted to be picky i would have liked hot plates and the tapas coming at different times. By the time we ate the fishy dishes the meat ones were cold so next time we would order as we needed. Chips were very good too! The atmosphere was fab lots of people having a good time and staff very relaxed friendly and competent. Skinny latte's too...made my evening!

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank iloveholbycity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Wonderful”
Reviewed 7 August 2014 via mobile

Excellent!!! Food is wonderful, service is lovely! Couldn't recommend it highly enough. We had the sharing tapas which were delicious, also the lemon drizzle cake is delightful!!

Helpful?
Thank Tanya Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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