“ Address: 93 High Street / Ruislip / HA4 8JB „
Harris and Hoole Coffee shop Ruislip
The Harris and Hoole coffee chain are a company part owned by Tesco supermarket finance and the other 51% must be private financed or family owned. I first visited a H H coffee shop at the end of 2012, and thought they were a better choice than some of the other coffee shops that I have frequented. The chain of coffee shops started its life in Amersham and then opened another shop in Uxbridge and soon there were plenty more.
The company have outdoor adverts outside their coffee shops and one could take their claims quite lightly or could equally dismiss them. I tend to like their coffee, so I would not be too critical of their coffee. They do also sell sandwiches which are quite expensive at £5,50p each but this qualifies the purchaser to a free packet of crisps. Their coffee is also at a slight premium compared to other coffee shops.
The Ruislip branch is located quite close to Ruislip high street and is next to another interesting coffee shop called Red Onion. The Harris and Hoole shop is also almost opposite the Café Nero. People in this area are definitely spoilt for choice in Ruislip.
Inside the coffee shop are wooden floors throughout and above in the ceiling areas is interesting. The ceiling has a very long metallic looking beam that goes from the front to the end of the coffee shop ceiling. It must be said that the ceilings make the shop look spacy and airy, but the beams are there to support the 3 big air conditioning units at certain stages of the shop. To the left of the counter, there is a refrigerator that has some soft drinks and some branded products such as Innocent and Tropicana orange juice. Also next to the refrigerator is a range of take home products such as loose tea. One thing that makes this coffee shop appear different is that the counter area is quite long for a coffee shop. Also you will find a few comfortable sofa chairs to sit at, if they are available. Finally the rest of the coffee shop has tables and wooden chairs. The level of seating is on balance quite low for a coffee shop, and I would say that the capacity is around 30 or 40 people for this venue. The coffee shop has spotlights, which provides an adequate level of lighting. The walls are predominately painted white, although there is part of the coffee shop that has a dark blue painted area, and next to the coffee counter there is exposed bricks.
The coffee shop has some interesting, yet basic artwork hanging up on the wall, and to the corner there are toys for children to play with. There are also high chairs for young kids if needed.
I have to say that the main thing that stands this coffee shop is it's velvety smooth coffee. There can be some argument in that it's own cappuccino version is actually a flat white, but I would definitely say that this would be an excellent choice to any would be visitor to a Harris and Hoole coffee shop.
Secondly, I have ordered herbal tea's from here, and let us say if you went elsewhere you would finish your tea and that would be the end of that, but at Harris and Hoole, you could ask for a refill top up and receive this at no extra cost.
Also, I have you there is a range of cakes which I have tried the Red Velvet which I think was similar to a gateaux cake, probably not the most healthiest of choices, but was reasonably good. The place feels a bit retro, and is a very positive experience in terms of going out to socialise and drink quality coffee.
The toilets are well stocked with cleaning products, but for those people who have a fear of getting bad coffee breath, there is a trolley with plastic cups so that people can use with the mouthwash that is supplied.
Overall, there is a nice relaxing atmosphere, the tea timers also add to the experience of the service. When ordering tea, the Barista gives you the hot drink and a tea timer so you know when the tea has brewed. Also when you order coffee you get a bleeping buzzer that buzzes when the drink Is ready to collect from the bar. However more often than not, when I have placed my order of coffee, one of the staff have brought my drink to where I chose to sit. This is not something that happens willingly, at other coffee shops!!
What I think of this aspect of the service is that the service is not rushed in anyway, and nothing seems too much for the Baristas. In the time I have been to the Ruislip branch, I have known one of the Baristas who has remembered me by my first name. Other members of staff, have asked me how I am, which again Is a good in terms of the staff getting to know customers, and being happy and cheerful, as well as showing some interest in their customers.
One final thing in determining whether or not to go to a Harris and Hoole coffee shop is that they have a good loyalty scheme, whereby if you order 6 drinks , you get your next for free.
Pricewise, if drinking a cappuccino this is on the expensive side of the market at £2.60p for a medium size drink, and £3 for a large size cup. I have personally tried the large size cappuccino and it was good quality, but perhaps too much in terms of coffee drink quantity. The medium size cappuccino, is still at a 20 or 30pence premium to a Costa coffee, but you get a velvety smooth drink and is not foamy. So I would have to say that the premium is deserved on coffee quality, and if you order tea, you get free refills, and you get served good quality loose tea and not tea bags. Also if ordering filter coffee you get refills for no extra charge. The coffee shop also sell sandwiches but so far have not ordered any yet.