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“Too posh” Clissold Park café makes menu more inclusive

PUBLISHED: 11:13 15 March 2012 | UPDATED: 11:41 15 March 2012

Clissold House is now re-open to the public after refurbishment.

Clissold House is now re-open to the public after refurbishment.

Archant

Park eaterie responds to class war slur introducing some simpler dishes but still no chips

The café in Clissold Park, which ignited a class war when it was accused of being too snooty, has bowed to public pressure and introduced some cheaper nosh like cheese on toast and sausage and mash.

Last month the Gazette reported a class war had erupted over the Company of Cooks-run caf which was returned to its former splendour in the £8.9million National Lottery revamp of the park.

Complaints ranged from it being too snooty, expensive and that kid-friendly fare like chips were not on the menu.

Some customers were so incensed they set up the Clissold Park Café Action Group on social networking site Facebook, and blamed the “nouveau riche” for turning over the mansion for their own use.

Now Company of Cooks, which also runs Hampstead’s stately home Kenwood House, has bowed to public pressure and tweaked the menu.

Although they haven’t introduced chips, they now serve up potato wedges, along with small meals like cheese on toast, pasta and sausage and mash for around £3.

Some of the fancier sandwiches have been replaced with simpler fillings like a cheddar cheese and pickle roll.

“Rather sad to see the demise of the Sister Sarah watercress and beetroot chutney on focaccia but I guess they are responding to demand,” said Caroline Millar, Chair of the Clissold Park User Group on Facebook.

Company of Cooks’ manager Andy Gordon, said the negative comments had influenced their redesign on the menu.

“A lot of people said it was expensive and we think we’ve started off with a lot of things at good prices, we have cheese and pickle sandwiches at £2.50 which is a very good price,” he said.

“We want it to be a place people feel they can pop in regularly rather than occasionally, and that’ s what we’ve tried to pitch it at really.

“When we opened the café the menu was a starting point and we always said we’d look at what sold and what didn’t and change or expand as we went along.”

He added that there were a number of reasons they didn’t serve chips, ranging from logistics around fryers to the healthy food movement.

The café was busy at the weekend, serving 1,500 people on Saturday alone.

A spokeswoman from the council said they had not asked Company of Cooks to change the menu, and the menu was always going to be subject to change.

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