4-6 Pump Street
Tel: 01905 330101

AFTER the meteoric rise of the American-style coffee chains, it’s a relief to finally see small local cafés fighting back on our High Street.

There’s a few to be found in Worcester and one of those to open in recent months is Mason’s Olive and Bean.

The building itself has undergone a stylish makeover in preparation for the opening of the family-run café deli.

Stripped floorboards, freshly painted walls and wooden tables now give the café a clean, modern, light and airy feel.

A glass counter runs along one wall displaying deli delights such as preserves, chutneys, tarts, cakes, cheeses and salads, all of which are available to eat in or take away.

We paid our first visit on a busy Saturday afternoon.

This deli café prides itself on selling good quality local produce, a great deal of which is home-made – rather different to the chains.

As well as the usual menu, there’s also a chalkboard of specials.

We ordered our food at the till and found a table. The staff were very welcoming and friendly and prided themselves on ensuring our table was cleared.

I chose a Christmas toastie off the specials board – stilton, cranberry and spring onion on granary bread, priced £3.95. It was nice to be offered something a little bit different from the usual cheese or tuna and it was delicious. The chef hadn’t scrimped on the filling and it came with a beautiful fresh side salad drizzled in a delicious honey and mustard dressing.

My friend chose the tomato, mozzarella and pesto Panini, priced £4.95. It too was a success.

Plenty of creamy mozzarella combined with fresh tomato and rich pesto with the same fresh side salad.Our drinks cost £2.10 for a local sparkling apple juice and £1.60 for a coke.

As well as sandwiches, the café also serves a selection of soups, salads, hot pasta dishes and jacket potatoes but luckily for us, we’d left room for dessert.

Mason’s Olive and Bean has a splendid choice of home-made cakes on offer, in fact you can go there just for afternoon tea.

After much deliberation I chose the millionaire’s shortbread and my friend the rich chocolate cake, both priced £2.20 and we agreed to share. Both were as yummy as they looked. It’s hard to find a good millionaire’s shortbread. But this home-made version didn’t disappoint. The shortbread was buttery, the caramel creamy and the chocolate thick.

The chocolate cake was equally good. Rich, moist, and moreish.

We washed it down with a latte, £2.50 and a cappuccino £1.90.

No doubt there are cheaper places to eat in town, but I think it’s well worth paying the extra for the quality of food and service available at Mason’s Olive and Bean.

We’re looking forward to a return visit to try out some of their hot meals and perhaps a breakfast or even afternoon tea.


Food: 4
Service: 4
Ambience: 3
Value for money: 3