Friday, 16 January 2009

Verde Cafe

I have been debating with myself whether to post this or not, but having read a reference to Verde Cafe on a friend’s blog ( and having witnessed the event she is describing, I have decided to publish my opinion on the subject.

We had been looking for a cozy, friendly place to gather for another friend’s birthday, and stumbled across Verde Cafe on the net. From its description, reviews and photos, it seemed the perfect place. As if it had been intended for us all along. We happily made a reservation for 10 and made our way over there one freezing evening.

We were thrilled with the place and ignored the lack of any diet or sugar free non-alcoholic drinks, the fact that the cook was on holiday and the kitchen closed (although we would have appreciated being told BEFORE we got there and chose dishes listed in the menu), the fact that there was no purpose-built ventilation to speak of and when the room got too smoky – in the smoking area – the door would be opened and we’d all freeze to near statues and the fact that our urine turned to icicles and stalagmites before it reached the toilet bowl because the bathroom wasn’t heated in any way and the windows jammed open to let the minus 10 fresh degrees of air cool our naked butts.

Instead, we chose to concentrate on the good bits: friendly staff, extremely comfortable seating, homely feeling, colourful and tasteful design, wonderful location, fun and friendly customers, very decent/low prices, great music, wonderful atmosphere. We chatted the night away and had to be reminded that the place was closing down at midnight. Before we realised, we had been there for 6 hours eating (delivery service), drinking (what they still had from the things listed in the menu), admiring the very funny Mr. Rabbit blown-up photos on the walls and showing each-other a few card tricks.

Everyone was extremely friendly towards us during the 6 hours we spent there, but, as we were leaving, one of the staff (whom we believe to be the owner, although we can’t be sure because she didn’t introduce herself) told our birthday girl – while she was paying the bill – that we had broken a ‘house rule’ by playing cards on a day other than Tuesday. Moreover, she insisted that if we ever returned there, she was hoping we wouldn’t do it again.

Now, to make it all clearer, here are the facts:

- Fact: Verde Cafe is advertising on their website ( – on the last page of their menu - the fact that it has theme nights and Tuesday in particular are dedicated to card games.

- Fact: Birthday Girl had asked when making the reservation if they (the Cafe and staff) had anything planned for that Friday evening or if they’d be willing to organise some/any activity for us in particular. The answer was ‘no’ to both questions.

- Fact: Birthday Girl was not informed, at any point up to bill paying time, that that card games were forbidden on any other day of the week apart from Tuesday.

- Fact: among other things, Birthday Girl got 2 decks of playing cards as a present on that evening.

- Fact: we did not play any card game as a group, or individually. I showed the rest of the group a card trick – I will atone forever! - and some people in the group tried to figure out how it is done. At no point during this card orgy were we informed that we were breaking a ‘house rule’ or asked to stop threatening the smooth running of the place by shuffling some obviously forbidden items on the table on the wrong day of the week.

Of course that believing we were in an extremely friendly venue, where ‘every party retains the beauty of a relaxed and relaxing chat with friends’ (and that’s a translated quote from the Verde website), we were stunned to hear such an accusation and warning from the Verde woman. Birthday Girl in particular felt insulted and appalled by the way the comment was made, but worst of all, after we had all praised the place and made plans to become regulars, that one comment was enough of a wet blanket to ruin the whole mood of the evening. We left feeling like scolded children and I doubt any of us will rush back there soon. Such a pity! Because I absolutely loved the place and I would warmly recommend it to everyone I know. Just make sure to ask for the book of rules first, just to make sure that your seemingly harmless leisure activities aren’t in fact gross trespassing of a house rule!


  1. I feel better now. Ta - Birthday Girl

  2. who's pic? grannie?

  3. Birthday Girl, I knew you'd say that. The point was not to avenge your (our) feelings, but to hopefuly open the Verde eyes to reason. They have created an extraordinary place. Why ruin it with the attitude?
    In the meantime I have actually recomended Verde Cafe to a group of friends who tried it out this weekend and liked it at first sight. I will eagerly wait for their comments as they frequent the place.

  4. Se pare ca toata blogosfera s-a umplut de Verde...