If you have ever been to Cambridge, you will probably have seen the Copper Kettle - it's perfectly situated right in the centre of the city on King's Parade and opposite King's College. This means you get great views across the road to the beautiful college, particularly when the weather is nice.
When you arrive, the first thing you will notice is the strange collection of photos on the wall of the so-called "celebrities" that have visited the restaurant, but I had never even heard of most of them. Apart from that, it's a pretty traditional cafe decor inside, right down to the pot of condiments and sugar on every table. I've found that often, particularly in the summer months, you need to wait for a table. This is particularly so if you're in a group of more than 2 as a lot of the tables inside are set up only for couples.
I have been to the Copper Kettle for tea/ coffee/ hot chocolate a few times and it's perfectly pleasant - not outstanding, but you get a great view (as I said before) and the service is generally quick and polite. But I'm more interested in reviewing the food, which I have eaten twice - once at breakfast and once at lunch.
Breakfast is fairly standard fare - I ordered a traditional English breakfast which seemed reasonably priced, as did most of the things on the menu. But when it arrived, I was slightly disappointed with the quality of the food. The bacon was nice but that was about all you could say - the sausages were clearly quite cheap, the beans were only just warm when the plate arrived and quickly became cold and the toast was wafer-thin. None of it was terrible, but I had certainly hoped for a bit better.
The other time I have eaten there was with a big group of friends one lunchtime. The first problem was with the menu - a couple of my friends were vegetarian and there was only one vegetarian item on the menu (some sort of chickpea stew but I can't remember exactly). It turned out the both of them thought it was quite tasty but it would have been nice to have a bit more choice. I ordered a chicken and bacon toasted sandwich, which surely you couldn't get wrong? Once again, the bacon was nice and the portion size was good, but the chicken was truly terrible. Instead of chicken chunks as I was expecting, I ended up with what I can only assume was a ready-bought chicken sandwich filler - essentially a white mush which tasted of very creamy mayonnaise and nothing like chicken.
I should say that I am told by friends who have been that the food and menu is much better in the evening, but I cannot vouch for that myself. I would say that if you choose a restaurant for the view and location, then you will probably enjoy it, but if you choose a restaurant for the food, then give this a miss.
This premises has very much improved since the recent refurbishment. The service has gone from counter service to at table service, and the prices have remained extremely reasonable. The resturant access has also improved because of the location of the toilets being down a steep flight of stairs in the past, I was put off visiting because of this, but this is now all on the level, and the whole resturant is very friendly, and I am looking forward to trying full meals since the refurbishment which has put this place up market.