Thursday, 6 March 2014

Wye: Bay Laurel Brasserie

First impressions of this little brasserie are good. Situated on the corner of the main high street in the popular village of Wye, this has all the hallmarks of being a fine little spot for coffee - tasteful paint work, good name, inviting look. Previously run as very good Italian Bistro, this is now under new ownership and management and we have been keen to try it out.

Upon entering,  it was immediately apparent that this was no longer an Italian cafe but an Indian eating house but felt it would be too rude to leave straight away. Greeted by a friendly young chap, we were seated at a table by the window and left to browse the sticky plastic menu folders. Being late morning, we were not in the mood for anything spicy so our choice was narrowed to either breakfast or a poor selection of sandwich options.

The friendly chap was back with his note book to take our order and feeling ravenous we both went for a cooked breakfast of eggs on brown toast with beans and mushrooms. Whilst waiting an age for it to arrive, he sipped on coke whilst I had what tasted like an ashtray but was supposed to be a flat white. With only one other customer asides from us, the Brasserie seemed heavily overstaffed and made for a subdued and cheerless atmosphere.

Being in the village of Wye, home to The Wye Artisan Bakery, Wakelin's Butchers selling free range eggs, organic vegetables and locally grown meats, we had hoped that all ingredients would be local. But no, our breakfasts were evidence that all produce and ingredients used here are cheap and of poor quality. The cakes on display did not look appetising or homemade.

Having had to wait 20 minutes for our food to arrive, we were very disappointed when it finally showed up. Cheap brown bread which had gone a little soggy, a dollop of reheated baked beans, barely an eggs worth of rubbery scrambledness and some shriveled old mushrooms. We ate it because we were hungry. Had this been served in a greasy spoon cafe then we would have no issues, but we were paying £4.20 each for this and were really miffed that this business is not supporting the great food producers of this little village.

The Verdict?
Well you probably have a fair idea of our thoughts on this one! We came away feeling quite sad that a fantastic village such as Wye doesn't have a fantastic cafe to match it. If you fancy coming to Wye, we wouldn't recommend coming here but there are plenty of other spots around the village to eat.


  1. I have eaten there and had a breakfast and I could not disagree more with this review, the coffee was great and the homemade chicken sausages were sublime. Service was great and incredibly friendly staff. The value for money was fantastic and much better than the kings head where the food is ridiculously overpriced as is the wine. With regards to your review of the place "looking like a good place for coffee" how you can distinguish the quality of coffee from paintwork on the outside of the place is quite a talent. I would encourage people to try the Bay Laurel, especially its breakfasts.

  2. the best place in Wye to eat is the Kings Head, they use all local ingredients, sausages are from Wakelins, Bread from the bakery, veg from Ripple and Perry Court farm plus everything is cook fresh. They also make there own cakes, which are at the front of the pub and sell Woodspoon chutneys and Jams. They have the very friendly staff, maybe go there next and checkout their DIY pizzas, the kids love them.

  3. I thought it was a fantastic little place. Great food and the staff were very attentive.

  4. Hi All,

    Thought I'd add my ten pence worth of a review!
    I've eaten there now on a few occasions (4 times to be precise!). Initially, I discovered the place whilst cycling with a few friends. We grabbed a couple of their muffins (blueberry - moist and delicious!) and two cups of tea - refreshing!

    We then realised that actually, it was more than a cafe and they offer fine food throughout the evenings and although the majority of it is yes indian, they also offer english dishes and I have to say the meat jalfrezi was splendid! Cod & Chips was also a hit with me!

    Great little place and fantastic prices considering how fresh everything is as I understand they buy some of their ingredients from 'Perry court farm' and from Ashford food market - very friendly staff.

  5. This place is now closed down and has been taken over by a Chap named 'Howard'.

    It's a great shame, the Bay Laurel Cafe was a fantastic venue, great, inquisitive and tasty food and good music too.

    From what I saw, the Bay Laurel Cafe simply closed due to a village which is stuck in its old fashioned and medieval ways and does not know what good food is, even if it hit them in the face!

    Dare I say, I believe the people of Wye are 'closet racists', as the Bay Laurel Brasserie was owned and run by Asian people and the community being tightly knit boycotted them out!

    The new place (Wye Coffee and Kitchen) is absolutely mediocre - standard food options and nothing special in the menu,complete and utter bore! The staff are OK, but I don't go to a cafe to talk to people,i go to enjoy my coffee and food and read the papers!

    One last comment,you say the muffins were not tasty or at the very least not appetising, I have it on record that they were sublimey delish! Freshly baked Italian muffins - perhaps you should've put your money where your mouth is and tried it - afterall, what kind of blogger/reviewer are you...clearly an amateur!