Every once in a while a business comes along that seems to perfectly fit a glaring gap in the market. Metro Lounge, the newest of the Loungers chain of cafe bars, which opened its doors in Amersham-on-the-Hill this week may well achieve just that. Given that the area has been bordering on going tee-total of late with the demise of most remaining pubs up the hill, I’m thrilled by the prospect of a decent social venue. Tilly and I popped in for brunch on its opening day to see what was on offer.The boxes appear to have been ticked: good-sized premises, open all day and catering to everyone from families having a meal out to evening cocktail drinkers. The facade is modern and rather imposing at the top of the road from the station and feels far more extensive than the toy shop premises it replaces.
Amersham-on-the-hill is peculiarly poorly served by licensed premises. Despite being home to the majority of the town it hosts but a single pub. There are no shortage of desirable coaching inns to be found down the hill in the old town but they’re hardly convenient for evening drinks. I also suspect that several chains have gravitated to Beaconsfield or Berkhamsted with Amersham left out in the middle, often short of suitable premises. The arrival of Metro Lounge is welcome to say the least.On entering Metro Lounge, seating is found across two areas with a bar area to the rear. The right-hand side is step free, which is welcome as we had Tilly’s pushchair. You might call the style of the place shabby chic, decked out with numerous oversized lampshades concealing old style bulbs, while the walls sport patterned wallpaper and are heavily laden with pictures. It’s a look that delivers a sense of modernity, style and comfort. Nicely done.
The selection of menus is nothing short of extensive, depending on whether you’re eating or drinking. If you’re after food, children’s and gluten-free menus are available. If it’s drink then there’s wine and cocktails to consider.
I decided to go for their weekday breakfast special, while Tilly chose a sandwich for herself from the children’s menu. The children’s menu doubles up as an activity sheet with tubs of crayons on hand to help entertain little ones.
For an opening day the staff were off to a good start. Yes there were some inevitable queries with using the system but once confirmed food and drink came quickly and there was a definite sense of business as usual, which isn’t something you can always say about recently opened venues.
The food was pleasingly plentiful in quantity and nicely arranged; the toast of my breakfast concealed the beans pot, while Tilly’s food came with bread sticks and carrot in a garlic dip on the side. There’s plenty on the menu to entice for future visits too and although most of the dishes are fairly substantial there are several options that would compete well on price with the offering of the nearby coffee shops. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, mains, salads, burgers and tapas are all catered for.
Although family life means my nights out with a drink are extremely curtailed these days, having a walkable option is going to prove tempting. Heralding from the West Country, the Loungers drinks menu boasts their own cider made by Westons. There’s also a wine menu and a cocktails menu, which is exciting ShireMum with the prospect of a daiquiri.
Needless to say, Metro Lounge is a welcome arrival to Amersham-on-the-hill and, budget permitting, is a place I can see us visiting pretty frequently. Cheers!