I really hate Starbucks.
This is only due in part to the overpriced cakes and mediocre coffee and generic uncomfortable sofas. It's mostly down to their wilful destruction of the family-run cafes and coffee shops which used to abound in this fair city. Every winter, I vow not to buy a morsel from the caffeine behemoth; I avoid the infamous red cups, I shy away from those devilishly tempting but always disappointing eggnog lattes and gingerbread moccachinos. NO STARBUCKS. I will not be drawn to your evil ways!
And then summer rolls around. And I see somone with a frappucino. And just like the whipped cream on top of the frozen icy loveliness, my resolve melts away.
Because I can't find an alternative to the frappucino. And believe me, I've tried. Nowhere does it quite right, much as it pains me to admit their superiority. There are so many things that can go wrong: bad blending, powdery texture, lack of options, nasty coffee, small servings, no whipped cream, weak flavour. Am I taking this too seriously? Of course I am. But I know what I like, and that doesn't include shelling out my hard-earned money on sub-standard products.
Then on Saturday I walked past Panini House and my coffee-starved brain was arrested by a wonky sign outside proclaiming the arrival of Big Train's frozen java drink. Hmm, I thought. Worth a try. And once inside I saw that they had more on offer. I plumped for caramel flavour, and was immediately heartened when the barista reached for the caramel syrup, not a plastic tub of powder. My drink was presented with a flourish and for a mere £2.50 and my god, it was good! The real faux-Starbucks full-on alternative delicious frozen coffee experience, from an independent shop, for less money. My life's mission accomplished!!!!
And yesterday I actually made a detour, with a hangover, just to try it again and be sure (don't say I'm not fair in my research). This time I was served by somebody else who asked if I wanted extra flavours along with my caramel syrup; he recommended the vanilla, so I thought I'd give it a go. Admittedly this flavour did come from a plastic tub, but I couldn't tell once it had been expertly blended, and he gave me whipped cream as well for no extra cost.
Thank you, Panini House, for saving my alcohol-soaked brain and allowing me to banish Satanbucks from my life once and for all. You beauty.
We didn't want to eat at Westfield as that seems like a minefield of choice and long queues, so we were hoping for something like this in Shepherd's Bush. I spied the Panini in the name and made an executive decision. Here, we would lunch.
Loads of selection on the menu, although it's not actually spelled out. You don't find out what's in your Chicken Mediterranean until it arrives at your table. But it was worth the risk! You do get to choose from a baguette, panini, or regular which is excellent. Hubbs was particularly excited by the toasting of the baguette--innovative, he said.
Anyway, definitely wish we had one of these joints in Fulham. All in all, tasty fillings, great prices, friendly staff and a window counter to watch Shepherd's Bush swagger by. This is definitely a great Saturday afternoon lunch on the go...and I managed to avoid mayo! Score for the American.
I've always thought Panini House looked a bit dodgy so have avoided it, despite it being conveniently placed right near the Central line station.
My chum asked me to meet her there though, so I reluctantly obliged and was instantly charmed.
Past the sandwich making area is a place to chill off in some style with big sofas and armchairs. Nearly all the dishes are under £4 including hot meals which are generous and healthy. It's a bit of a mission to get to the toilets out the back and down the stairs, but the back is littered with green plants and the toilets are pretty clean.
Coffee is very good, tea is only 70p! and the staff are great. I am now addicted to the Panini House.
Really nice café. Stopped in for a quick bite because we had to catch a movie, and glad we did. There are tables for two in front, but comfortable leather sofas and low tables in the back. They make lots of types of filled panini: chicken and avocado, tuna, etc. We had a Greek salad and a falafel wrap, both of which were tasty and quite cheap (the wrap and side salad for £3.50 was huge and I could barely finish). Friendly staff, too.
They don't take cards, so bring cash (there are a couple of cash machines nearby if you need them).
Another Panini House addict here!
A friend of mine also introduced me and I'm so glad she did. It really is a hidden gem in the Bush. As a reference, from the Central Line tube turn right, towards the Green, past the traffic lights on your left and it's just a couple of steps past there.
The name is slightly misleading as they don't limit themselves to Paninis. If you're there at a lunch time you'll see the huge pan of paella on the counter too, amongst other things.
I've only ever had the falafel wrap so I can only comment on that but my theory is go with what you know. The falafel wrap is so tasty and filling and yet it's just £3.50! You really must try it, you can pick what you have with it i.e., salad, hot sauce or not.
I haven't eaten in there but I'd like to one day as it looks really pleasant, and it would be a welcome break.
Although the décor of the establishment is awesome, the panini I bought for £3.50 at Panini House was such a disappointment. The bread was just absolutely ridiculous. The top was covered in seeds and had a flaky crust. I don't mind seeds and I'm down with flakes from time to time, but not on a panini that's been grilled. The texture is just all wrong. Pigeons would love this kind of sandwich. Those evil rat birds in Trafalgar Square would seriously start picking each other off just to eliminate possible panini pecking competition if you brought this sandwich to their neighbourhood. I must admit that during my days of supreme penury I was in competition with the pigeons in Trafalgar Square for scraps of miscellaneous food crumbs, but now that I'm borderline poor I'm not interested in paying £3.50 for bland sandwiches fit for disease ridden birds.
If you want a large, fat, panini with tasty filling then this is the place. It's also convenient as it is just around the corner from the mainline and central line shepherds bush station, this is a great place for a refueling break. I'm not however that keen on their bacon sandwiches, these are somewhat lackluster. Good service, friendly staff and lots of filling/food options (plus an eat in area if you have any waiting to do), make this a regular stop for me. Oh did I also mention the price, it's really reasonable.
i found this through these reviews. as others have said, i've avoided it/ignored it - but it's great. nice quiet coffee after the movies. comfy sofas, quiet tv. will use more often.
Since Westfield's is quite dare, me and my friend decided to have our lunch at the Panini house, the place looked great and the food looked quite appetising, however, the customer service and hygiene was extremely poor, no gloves or hair covering is worn. I ordered Mexican tuna with cheese Panini, but was served tuna sweet corn Panini, I then had to order the 2nd time, this time the man put the the plate on the till and said here you go aggressively, the man was very rude and ignorant, however, this time he forgot to put the cheese. My friend ordered the same thing with cheese, and again he didn't put the cheese, so she had to get up and remind him. Also an elderly chap entered the shop asking for ice cream, as the shop has sign outside that they sell ice cream, but they don't sell ice cream, the man at the till was very rude to this elderly chap. Me and my friend definitely won't be returning. The man was not apologetic, and charged us full price regardless of his errors and he didn't handle criticism very well. Has to be one of the worse place I've ever been too, really spoilt our day.
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