Ole & Steen is in the new St James’s Market, located just off Haymarket. As expected for a central location, this Danish cafe was extremely busy. Even though it had seats on the entrance level, outdoor seats, upper and lower level seating, it was tricky to get a few seats together. The upper level had a communal table and balcony like seats that overlooked the cafe downstairs. There were some comfy seats. The staff said that the lower level seating was not as light as the other two areas.
The decor at Ole & Steen was mostly black and the upper level was quite dimly lit. The music that was playing was fairly loud. With the floor to ceiling windows, when the sun came out, it did brighten up the upstairs area.
There was a definite Scandinavian feel to this cafe, maybe more so with the selection of breads. It was unfortunate that the bread rolls by the till were in an open display basket. All of the other food such as the bread loaves, salads, cakes, pastries and sandwiches were behind the counter. Brunch items were on offer as well. All of the food on display looked fresh.
The drinks were ordered at the till and then they were given to you on a tray for you to take it to your seat. This could be a bit difficult if you were also wandering to find a vacant seat. The hot food seemed to brought up to your table.
Ole & Steen did a coffee that was quite large. There was a choice of almond, soy and oat milk in addition to regular milk. That afternoon, a decaf almond milk Americano was chosen. The coffee was strong and it was good that the milk was given in a small jug on the side. The coffee came in stoneware like cups.
The staff who took the order at the till was so friendly and gave service with a smile. In contrast to this, the coffee barista was slightly abrupt. But maybe it was because he had had a long day already. The staff did their best to keep on top of clearing up the tables at this bustling Ole & Steen.
Ole & Steen, 56 Haymarket, No 2, St James’s Market, London, SW1Y 4RPRating: