Newest Review: ... to sit and eat in restaurants I rarely feel that I am happy with the food. So far Pret a Manger has a big thumbs up because I am pick... more
Great food range
Pret a Manger
Member Name: helenc72
Pret a Manger
Advantages: Good food, lots of choice, quick service
Disadvantages: Coffee is fine but not outstanding, eat-in prices a bit high
I have been to a few branches of Pret a Manger around London recently, including the one in St. Pancras station, in Richmond and near my law school in Waterloo.
=== Atmosphere and service===
The atmosphere of Pret a Manger is quite nice, usually with ample seating area. I was impressed by how many tables the St. Pancras store had as usually at a station I would expect to have to take my coffee away. The shops play music in the background at a decent level, which is relaxing but not intrusive and too in your face.
The staff are generally very friendly and I have never had any problems with them at all. You don't have to stand around waiting a long time for your drink, as you sometimes do in Starbucks. In Pret they make the coffees and hot drinks SO quickly, so they usually put them on your tray by the time I have paid by card and put my staff back into my handbag.
=== Drinks ===
I usually get a cappucino or latte when I go to Pret a Manger. They only have two sizes available and they don't serve the HUGE cups like Costa and Starbucks. This is fine by me and I am usually happy with their small one, which is a reasonable price (£1.99 for a small cappucino). Their coffee is not particularly outstanding or extraordinary but it is perfectly fine. It is basically just a decent coffee, as you would get at any of the chain cafes.
=== Food ===
The best thing about Pret a Manger in my opinion is definitely the food range and this is what makes Pret stand out ahead of its competitors in my opinion.
They have a very wide selection of lunch time foods including loads of sandwiches (in the normal triangular packet format) as well as wraps and baguettes. The fillings are varied, including vegetarian and meat options, and they have combinations which are healthy yet appealing such as the avocado salad wrap, humous and chunky salad, smoked salmon... They also have salads, a good selection of pastries including standard croissants, fancier sweet pastries and some savoury ones such as tomato and mozarella. In addition to the cold selections they have soups and for breakfast time they have hot porridge in generous sized pots with a choice of either honey or berry compote to go on the top. I tried their porridge pot for the first time yesterday and really enjoyed it. They market it as "proper" porridge and I agree that is what it is! Really handy if you want a good filling, healthy and enjoyable breakfast to set you up for the day and you are too short on time to make porridge yourself at home. The pot is easy to take away and eat on the train or even as you walk to work or uni.
The eat in prices are quite a bit higher than the take away prices, so that does put me off sitting in the cafe to eat, but they are not really more expensive than other similar cafes such as EAT, Costa, Starbucks and I think Pret's food range is definitely worth a look.
Summary: Great cafe with food as its main strength