Ray's Jazz Cafe At Foyles
113-119 Charing Cross Road, Soho, London WC2H 0EB
- Tottenham Court Road Tube Station (0.2 km)
- Leicester Square Tube Station (0.4 km)
- Contact us:
020 7437 5660
- Opening hours:
Monday - Saturday: 8.00am-9.00pm
Sundays: 10.00pm - 6.00pm
Public holidays: 10.00am - 8.00pm
48-50 St John's Road, London SW11 1PR
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26 reviews of Ray's Jazz Cafe At Foyles in English
The Cafe at Foyles is an interesting place. It draws slightly different folks in than most other coffee shops in the area.
Nice old wooden furniture including a few pews and random jazz music in the background make this a nice place to stay.
They also have a little stage, so it might be worth to check out what’s on there at times. And if you like books, that’s a cafe for you, as it is located right within a Foyles book store.
It’s probably a bit too big to become a favourite spot of mine, but then I will also definitely come back sooner or later to enjoy a jazzy cup of coffee there on the edge of Soho.
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Difficult to add more to what's already been said about this totally unique, vibrant cafe on the 1st floor of Foyles, overlooking Charing Cross Road. They serve one of the finest coffees in London, a selection of cakes and nibbles and feature great jazz music, frequently live on their stage for free. Check Time Out for listings of musicians scheduled.
This is a great little place! I was recommended by a friend! I took my partner for lunch and we had a okay time! I didn't think it was worth the hype my friend was giving it because the place only had a limited selection of food and had one toilet for everyone! The only good thing about this place was the music they had playing!!! don't get me wrong this is a great little place but it not worth anything over 3 stars because of the limited choice of food and having to queue for the toilet! I hear they have artist playing live music here so I will be coming back!
A vibrant part of the Foyles experience, our independent cafe offers a haven of cool calm one floor up from the bustle of Charing Cross Road with London’s finest coffee (Monmouth of course) served alongside London’s finest jazz.
With a range of treats served up throughout the day from a morning croissant to lunchtime sandwich, afternoon cake to evening tapas, all our food is of the highest quality with many organic, vegan & wheat free choices available. Alongside our coffees, teas & infusions we serve freshly squeezed juices and smoothies or you can indulge yourself with a beer or glass of wine alongside your meal. Complimentary chilled water is always available, though if you fancy bottled your conscience is safe as we only sell Belu.
Though jazz is played throughout the day, in the evening and at weekends the Cafe comes alive with regular sets from some of the world’s finest jazz stars.
Sit at a table and chat with friends, lounge in a comfy chair and get lost in a really good book (though we do ask that you purchase any books before you take them into the Cafe) or just perch on a stool by the window and watch the world go by.
I love this place, but I was only here on a weekday morning when it was nice and calm: wonderfully relaxed! It started to get quite busy towards lunch time when I had to leave so it must be like an ants nest a little later!
Love the old-fashioned feel of the tables and chairs and general surroundings. Staff is friendly and welcoming though one girl was a bit dizzy, trying to tell me that the strong coffee floats on top and it gets weaker when you drink that off (what?). Still, she did oblige with a shot of hot water on top as I'd asked.
I wasn't keen on the selection of food though the spinach puff pastry thing was not bad. They do quite posh berry or apple drinks, that sort of thing.
I'd like to try the place when there's music on.
Ok I admit I've delayed a bit on writing this review, I don't want this place to get any more popular than it already is! Ah well...
Ray's was initially started and run by Jorge Fernandez (now run by his wife), who co-owns the Fernandez & Wells chain.
Mr Fernandez is also the former GM of Monmouth Coffee Co., you may then understand that Ray's has all the makings of being a gem of a place. The proto-good-coffee-place of London, you might say.
It's a fair bit cheaper than the F&W outlets, but still offers the same great quality food. The coffee (Monmouth) as you'd expect, is top notch, though this usually does depend on the person making it. Every now and then you'll get someone who's a bit of a newbie and may not make one's flat white to one's exacting expectations.
The music is particularly good here. Though I've never attended any live jazz session, whoever selects the background music (not strictly jazz, thankfully, but definitely not mainstream) is pretty awesome, as they have introduced me (and some members of my family) to some great, great music.
I do have a few problems with this place though, which is why I can only give it 4 stars. Ray's gets amazingly packed, so good luck finding a seat if you get there after, say 12h30 on the weekend (good atmosphere though).
Ray's also seems to run out of food very quickly, so if you've made your mind up on what you're going to eat, before you get there, I'm afraid you may be forced to change it quite quickly once you hit that queue to get served.
- more affordable than F&W
- great food
- great coffee
- great music
- usually friendly (though sometimes stressed) staff
- packed to the rafters (get there early)
- limited supply of food
- only one toilet, bit harsh for such a popular place
A great place to sit and people watch while drinking glorious Monmouth coffee, eyeing up the delectable cakey goods and pretending to do lots of serious work on your laptop.
The cafe used to be on a different floor, which confused the hell out of me recently when I started frequenting the place again after a few years off. After waiting very patiently for the lift (heavy bags), going up to where I thought it was and wandering around like a startled rabbit, blinking in confusion, I eventually read the floor guide and located it. Reward for such foolishness = one lovely cup of coffee.
Update I don’t like taking stars off places, but Foyles actually forced me to drink my coffee sharpish and move elsewhere today. If you’re going to advertise your free wi-fi, then you should at least make it work. The internet here is notoriously unreliable and I can’t work from here. Shame, because other than that it’s pretty damn perfect. Update
I came here for the private viewing of Londonist’s Slow Exposure exhibition and I was shocked to find this morning that I haven’t reviewed this place yet!
Foyles is one of the best book shops in London. The jazz cafe is one of the best cafes in London. The jazz artist the book are some of the best there is. Throw in a decent coffee and some good company, and you’ve got Christmas.
Do I need to say anymore?
Oh alright then. They have disabled access - including the loos. The coke comes in bottles. the staff are friendly. There’s free wi-fi (although how you’d get any work done with the book shop next door is beyond me. I would be mostly shopping). You can get a beer too if you like.
They could have easily popped a normal chain cafe in here like other bookshops, but Foyles have gone one better.
I tend to get stuck in the doorway here. That sounds a little odd, but it is because this particular doorway is the path between magically cool Jazz cafe and the huge array of amazing books calling from the adjoining Foyles. Hover, hover…
Eventually I get in the Jazz side of things, it’s the decent hot chocolate with a chunk of cake that does it in the end… not to mention the delicate jazz notes taking me by the ear and leading me to the rustic wooden benches.
Fair play to free wifi and good coffee. Didn’t have one, but the salads and brownies look amazing. Popped in for a book, ended up staying for coffee and jazz! I’d almost take a star off for minimum spend £5 on card, but I like it too much. See you in hell Starbucks!
After years of stomping Charing Cross Road, I am slightly embarrassed to say that I only paid my first visit here Wednesday last. Truth be told, I never really knew it existed.
What a little pearl. Great coffee, laid back atmosphere, good food if you want it (fine if you don't) and with my deeper aversion to chains than Spartacus, all the while independent cafes such as Ray's continue providing an infinitely more viable alternative, then there's still hope for our coffee-stained streets of London.
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