Kalm Kitchen Café (Glutton & Glee Update)

The Kalm Kitchen logo, the words "Kalm Kitchen" written five times around the circumference of a circle, with the letters "K.K" in the centre, all in white on grey.Glutton & Glee was one of the first places that I wrote about when I started the Coffee Spot in 2012. It’s also in my home-town of Guildford. Back then, with the exception of Bar des Arts, it was a lonely beacon of speciality coffee in a town full of chains. These days, despite the loss of Bar des Arts, it’s slightly less lonely, particularly with recent developments on Chapel Street and elsewhere [coming soon to the Coffee Spot]. It’s also changed its name.

After four years as Glutton & Glee, it became the Kalm Kitchen Café in February 2015. At first, the change was almost imperceptible, but as the year went on, it became more noticeable, although some things, such as Allpress’ Redchurch blend on the espresso machine, remained the same. The sign above the door still said “Glutton & Glee” too, and each time I visited, the staff told me that the rebranding/redecorating would be happening soon.

Then, one day, I went by and it said “Kalm Kitchen” above the door, so I made a note to come back with my camera. And so, yesterday, I did, finally having the perfect combination of a sunny day, my camera and a spare hour or two…

You can see what I found after the gallery.

  • The Kalm Kitchen Cafe on Guildford's Tunsgate, now with tables outside on the pavement.
  • This is the view if you are approaching from the High Street.
  • Nice sign...
  • ... and nice A-board, although 'coffee' has been misspelled 'tea'! ;-)
  • However, there is another approach, this time around the back down Milkhouse Gate.
  • That last view is if you're approaching from Sydenham Road. This is from the High Street.
  • Either way, there's Kalm Kitchen, through the gate. More tables outside I note.
  • There are also more A-boards. This one makes a very valid point...
  • ... while this one exhibits the same spelling mistake as the one out front!
  • The actual approach to Kalm Kitchen is down this steep flight of steps...
  • ... although if you prefer, you can sit on this this two-level terrace.
  • Both the round table and the square one make good options, particularly when it's warmer.
  • I like what Kalm Kitchen has done with the plants: it's really brightened the place up.
  • It's also provided the table at the top with a little more screening/privacy.
  • Right, time to go in. And yes, for once those steps really are as steep as they look!
  • Although they never look as steep going up!
  • If you do come in the back, this is the view you'll get, with the counter to your right.
  • Alternatively, if you come in the front door from Tunsgate, this is what you'll see.
  • The downstairs seating is all here at the front on your right.
  • An alternative view of the seating at the front. There used to be three tables there...
  • ... but no bar between the stairs and the window.
  • Nice window display, by the way.
  • A sight for sore eyes!
  • These stairs, I take it?
  • The counter, from half way up the stairs. The cakes are normally at the front by the way.
  • The stairs turn left at the top, leading you into a lovely little upstairs room.
  • It's actually bigger than this photo makes it look, although there are still just the five tables...
  • ... along with another four-seater bar, which is another new feature.
  • My favourite has always been this bench/table in the corner, with all the cushions...
  • ... where you're right next to the book shelves!
  • I like the mirrors on the walls up here. These are opposite more mirrors above the bar.
  • As well as the windows at the front, overlooking Tunsgate, these overlook the back...
  • ... and give a good view of the terrace.
  • Time to go back downstairs. Yes, they are also that steep!
  • Nice touch.
  • Fresh fruit and vegatables behind the counter.
  • Obligatory light-fitting shot.
  • Menus are scattered on the tables so you don't have to go to the counter to see what's what.
  • It was late afternoon, so lunch had been cleared away. There were cakes though...
  • ... and locally-made chocolate.
  • The hot drinks menu is above the counter...
  • ... while there's a specials menu to the right...
  • ... and a smoothy menu behind you.
  • I, however, had come for coffee, Allpress' Redchurch in the main hopper, decaf in the other.
  • Espresso extraction.
  • My flat white.
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The change from Glutton & Glee was caused by a change of ownership, Kalm Kitchen being a wedding catering company. Rather sensibly, the new owners took their time, a process of slow evolution rather than a big-bang approach. However, now that the make-over is complete, there is quite a difference, even if each individual change was quite small.

I always thought of Glutton & Glee as a coffee-and-cake shop that did food, whereas the feel I get from Kalm Kitchen Café is that there’s more of an emphasis on the food, although the coffee and cakes are still there. The former comes from London’s Allpress, with the ubiquitous Redchurch blend on espresso along with an excellent decaf. A Colombian blend is also available as pour-over through the V60 and cafetiere. However, these aren’t heavily advertised, so you’ll have to ask.

The cake range is probably slightly reduced from Glutton & Glee days and it’s all baked in-house at Kalm Kitchen’s Puttenham HQ. Nevertheless, Kalm Kitchen Café still makes for a good coffee-and-cake stop. The food range feels to me slightly expanded and the counter-top has been rearranged to make the food more central to the offering at the expense of the cakes, which used to dominate. The espresso machine has been moved, while the kitchen feels more open, all of which leads to a much more connected space, which I like.

Kalm Kitchen’s effectively the same space, but whereas Glutton & Glee could seat 20 inside, Kalm Kitchen fits in 26 without feeling any more cramped. Downstairs, a pair of two-person tables (down from three) occupy the window, with the addition of a four-person bar on the right-hand side between the window and stairs. Upstairs, the layout is again subtly different. Three two-person tables still occupy the windows at the front, while the two four-person tables against the left-hand wall remain, but on the right, against the stairs, there’s a new addition, another four-person bar.

Outside is perhaps where Kalm Kitchen has made the biggest changes, although I can’t remember exactly how it was in Glutton & Glee’s final days. There are a pair of tables outside on the pavement on Tunsgate and two more out back on Milkhouse Gate. What’s more, the back terrace has been spruced up, with two four-person tables, which means that you can seat 16 people outside (as long as it’s not raining).

All-in-all, the change is good and I’m glad Kalm Kitchen is around. The coffee’s good, as are the cakes (I’ve sampled both a number of times since the change of ownership) and although I’ve not eaten there, the food looks even better. Best of all, the same cosy, friendly atmosphere remains.

Don’t forget the original Glutton & Glee write-up.

6 TUNSGATE • GUILDFORD • GU1 3QT
http://kalmkitchen.co.uk/k-cafe.htm
Monday 08:00 – 17:00 Roaster Allpress (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 08:00 – 17:00 Seating Tables, Bars, Tables Outside
Wednesday 08:00 – 17:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake, Sandwiches
Thursday 08:00 – 17:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:00 – 17:00 Cards Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 08:00 – 17:30 Wifi Free
Sunday 09:30 – 17:00 Power Yes
Chain No Visits Original: 7th November 2012
Update: 2nd February 2016

You can also see what local cafe blogger, Katie, makes of Kalm Kitchen (disclaimer: she also works there).


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4 thoughts on “Kalm Kitchen Café (Glutton & Glee Update)

  1. Pingback: Glutton & Glee | Brian's Coffee Spot

  2. Pingback: Allpress Espresso | Brian's Coffee Spot

  3. Out the front was a bench.

    Glutton & Glee was worth a visit

    Not since acquired by a catering company who gave it a silly name.

    They have ruined it.

    Overpriced, poor quality, staff not up to much.

    Decrepit tables and chairs out the back that have seen better days.

Please let me know what you think