Saturday, 8 September 2012

Temple Gate Coffee Shop review

Image of the front of Bowood House with a fountain in the foreground

Apologies first – this feels like a bit of a cheat – the basis for this blog is meant to be cake and no cake has been made or eaten today! However, we did visit a coffee shop so thought I’d write up a quick review.  

Temple Gate Coffee Shop at Bowood House

Image of Temple Gate Coffee Shop
Picture taken from the Bowood House website
Wow – a very rare thing – sunshine at the weekend! We decided to make the most of the weather and head out to Bowood House, near Chippenham. We arrived, very hungry, in time for a late lunch, so we were pleased to find that the Temple Gate Coffee Shop was right at the entrance to the Estate. It’s outside the ticket office so you could visit without having to pay entrance to the House and Grounds.

It’s a fairly modern and simple building with some tables and picnic benches outside. The lunch menu was pretty standard and fairly disappointing – jacket potatoes with a few standard fillings, a choice of two salads, soup French bread pizzas and some packaged sandwiches. The cakes on offer were a Victoria sponge, coffee and walnut sandwich and a chocolate cake. They also offered a cream tea with pot of tea, two scones, jam and clotted cream but the scones looked fairly small and it was an expensive offering at £5.45.   

I opted for the chorizo and sun-dried tomato salad (£6.50), which sounded promising. When it arrived, it looked fairly appetising – with a salad of leaves, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and mixed peppers topped with a reasonable amount of sun-dried tomatoes and fried chorizo. Unfortunately, the sun-dried tomatoes were tough and fairly tasteless and the salad just had the faintest hint of balsamic vinegar, rather than a decent dressing. It was edible (with the addition of a couple of sachets of salad cream!) but uninspiring.

My ever-hungry husband chose a jacket potato with tuna (about £4.25) and a sausage roll (about £2.50). The sausage roll was fairly standard, acceptable but nothing special. The jacket potato and tuna mayonnaise topping was generous – the potato was a little tough (it had probably been sat around a while) but the tuna was fine and not overly swamped in mayonnaise as can so often be the case.

In summary, the coffee shop was a bit of a disappointment and we felt that they could make a lot more of it. I’m guessing they cater mostly for the families visiting the adventure playground (which looked amazing!) and therefore everything is fairly basic. We certainly wouldn’t return for lunch and the cakes didn’t really tempt me either. 

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