School House Cafe
Food 7 / 10
Drink 7 /10
Atmos 6 / 10
School House Cafe Community Cafe in St Pauls
The Longer Read School House Cafe is in St Paul’s , just off centre in Cheltenham. The area is student-heavy, with Francis Close Hall campus nearby and it’s good to see the creative use of what was originally part of the old St. Paul’s School. It’s easy to find, even in this sometimes nondescript corner of Cheltenham – the huge St Paul’s Church next door is the landmark building in the area. The Cheltenham restaurant of 2017 (and maybe 2018) is nearby too – Coconut Tree. That restaurant has been getting all of the attention recently and has opened up in Oxford and Bristol. It would be nice if there were more School House Cafe style coffee shops around too.
So, is the School House Cafe any good?
Great first impression with the house flat white (£2), which I’d rate in the top half-dozen that I’ve had in Cheltenham. A Coronation Chicken sandwich (£2.60) has a good chunky filling and the chocolate peanut crunch (£1) was great. The menu is pretty student-friendly, toast, panini, sandwiches, soup and a sure sign – Oreo milkshakes. So is the set up inside, with plugs lining the walls for all those laptops and the wifi is pretty zippy. Its not just a student hangout though, there are mums with prams and other locals. Given its location, School Cafe Cafe has two sort of lives, term time and vacation time.
So, basically what we have here is an great little community cafe that is also good enough to be worth making a point of going to check out wherever you live in town. Special mention for the cakes which look and taste great. They change pretty regularly and the quality is always pretty good, in a studenty, sugar rush sort of way.
The other aspect of being in a student area are the prices. Basically much cheaper than elsewhere in town. Coffee is World Select, farm coffee from Brazil and, at that price one of the best deals in Cheltenham.
We’ve been back few times and standards are consistent. If you look in the door and it looks busy, carry on to through to the old school hall. It’s past the counter through to the right. You’ll find plenty more seats and also a ping pong table. Maybe bring your own ball though.