It’s no mean feat, opening a new eatery in the former home of one of the city’s oldest and best loved cafes.
But, that’s just the challenge taken on by Leicester’s newest coffee house, Five Fox Lane.
Five Fox Lane opened at the start of September, in the Fox Lane premises previously occupied by Brucciani.
Until May 2019, the site had been one of the bakery firm’s iconic cafes.
Having been impressed by the look of the new venue on my previous visit prior to the opening, I was eager to head back and try the food and drink.
The Fox Lane venue has been transformed into a modern coffee house by local businesswoman Jan Gillbanks – and the place really does look great.
There’s a dark colour scheme throughout, with metallic accents, and details including posters, pictures in gold frames and a quirky collection of plates hanging on the walls.
The old counters and tables have been taken out and replaced with new, modern booths and mixture of low tables and chairs and high tables with stools.
In addition to the seating inside, there is also a seating area outside the front of the coffee house, in Fox Lane.
There’s a good range of food available, whether you want breakfast, lunch or tea and cake.
On the breakfast menu (served until 12pm) you’ll find a cheese and egg bagel, bacon roll, bacon and egg on toast, and avocado on toast.
If you prefer something sweet, there’s also a croissant, pain au chocolat, toast with jam, or a waffle with butter and syrup.
Lunch options include sandwiches, baguettes and tortilla wraps along with toasties, paninis, and salads.
Sweet treats include cakes, Rossa’s ice cream, and an impressive selection of waffles, with varieties including strawberry dream, cookie crumble, Biscoff delight, plain and simple, tutti frutti and chocolate honey.
I visited early one morning, and was keen to try the tutti frutti waffle (£5.95). Although it wasn’t on the breakfast menu, the smiling staff members behind the counter assured me that it was no problem – which made for a good first impression.
I took a seat in one of the new booths and after about 10 minutes my freshly made waffle arrived, looking delicious.
The taste was equally impressive and it was obvious the waffle had been made from scratch, given the lovely light fluffy centre and crisp exterior.
There was a good variety and amount of fresh fruit – banana slices, strawberry slices and blueberries, plus some whipped cream on the side (you can have ice cream if you’d prefer) and a tasty topping of Nutella.
I also enjoyed a good cappuccino (£2.60), made with Carrera Coffee, which is roasted in Market Harborough. It was served with a Lotus Biscoff biscuit on the side – and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love those?!
Although I was impressed with my waffle and coffee, I thought in the interest of a thorough review, I ought to try one of the savoury offerings too. So, I bought a takeaway chicken and bacon Caesar salad (£4.50).
Along with a selection of sandwiches, wraps and baguettes, the salads can be found in a fridge, and are freshly made each morning.
The salad was very good, with five lean slices of tasty chicken and a good handful of crispy bacon pieces. It was a bit of a twist on the classic Caesar salad (Caesar salad aficionados beware!) with iceberg lettuce, watercress and rocket leaves rather than the usual romaine lettuce, and Cheddar rather than Parmesan cheese.
It included a sprinkle of crunchy croutons, plus slices of cucumber and tomato halves – all of which was topped with a lovely creamy, garlicky Caesar dressing. A very enjoyable, and fresh-tasting salad.
I was impressed by my visit to Five Fox Lane, and really enjoyed the food and drink I tried – especially the waffle.
The surroundings are lovely and the service I received from the friendly members of staff was excellent.
In total, I spent £13.05 on my three items, which I felt was a fair price.
Although it was sad to see Brucciani close, it is wonderful to see Five Fox Lane breathing new life into the building, and based on my experience, I’d recommend you pay a visit.
Our rating: 4/5
Food hygiene rating: Awaiting inspection