By Nick Searle-Donoso, First Year English Literature.
Tucked away on Elvet Bridge, finding the Waffley Good Company is challenge number one. Challenge number two involves traversing the mismatched, winding staircase which is impossible to avoid tripping over. A third challenge (admittedly this one may only apply to me) is working out that ordering takes place at the till – a realisation that took me way too long, given the huge sign overhead. Once you eventually reach the café, the tantalising smell of waffle batter, full of potential and possibility, hits you. The café itself is chic: from one wall a large mirror stares at you; from another, a printed menu. On one side, there is an ornamental fireplace lined with decorative house plants; from the window there is, albeit slightly obscured, a view of the river.
The menu itself is an Americanised, pun-ised affair, with ‘Sweet cravings’ that could induce a sugar coma – including ‘Flufella’, a sugary-sounding mess of Nutella, fluff (American marshmallow), chocolate sauce and cream. The menu is coherent enough: you nod understandingly at the Americanisms, but then you see the savoury menu. What can I say about the savoury menu? A disclaimer: I didn’t try one, so I can’t be too harsh, but tell me, who wants a savoury waffle? Alright, one of my friends dunks their waffles in baked beans but this heretic behaviour is received with open-mouthed horror. So, let me rephrase my question: which sane person wants a savoury waffle? Any takers for ‘Lord Marmitey’ (marmite and cheese), ‘Cheesy tune’ (tuna mayo and melted cheese), or the questionably named ‘Salmoncrema’?
Ignoring the horrors of the savoury menu, I order the ‘Bananarama’ which, I have to say, is my dream breakfast on a waffle: banana, peanut butter, cinnamon, and caramel sauce topped with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. My waffle, when it arrives, is full of paradoxes: its immense size yet lightness, its reassuring warmth yet cutting coldness, its crunchiness yet softness. The waffle outdoes all my expectations: the peanut butter is glue-like without being claggy, the caramel sauce is sweet without sky-rocketing my heart rate, and the expectedly-pasty vanilla ice cream is a genuine cream colour. Waffley Good Company, reasonably priced with waffles averaging six to seven pounds, is therefore a perfect treat for students bored with the monotony of college canteen breakfast options.
Photograph by Nick Searle-Donoso
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