Fringe Box



13.01.12: Caracoli, High Street

Published on: 13 Jan, 2012
Updated on: 28 Feb, 2012

Caracoli, Guildford High Street near Holy Trinity Church

From the bottom of North Street last week to the top of the High Street this week for our second coffee shop survey at ‘Caracoli’. As well as being situated at the top of the High Street Caracoli is also at the high end of the coffee shop market in Guildford, with prices to match, but you probably get more than what you pay extra for here and what price would anyone put on the wonderful view down the High Street and its backdrop of the Hog’s Back?

Having ascended through the Steamer Trading Cookshop we were immediately impressed with the lively atmosphere. The shop is obviously a popular meeting place for the prosperous together with the buzz of animated chatter might make customers feel part of the ‘in’ crowd. The well informed, intelligent staff are worthy of special mention.

The back area by the counter was initially quieter but soon filled up during our visit. In summer the glass floored terrace might be the favoured section.

Website coffee shop reviews are conducted without the knowledge of shop owners or staff. All scores are out of 5.

Modern interior, interesting foodstuffs, lively atmosphere

Subject Comments Score
Caracoli, High Street near Holy Trinity Church
Coffee One black and one white coffee ordered. £2.20 for a largish, mug shaped cup. Good continental style coffee. 4.5
Cakes Bakewell slice fresh but a little too rich perhaps and Carrot cake, moist and topped with really lemony icing. 4
Menu range
Good range of fresh cakes and savouries. 4
Interior Modern, clean and tidy. Several almost separate sections including a roof garden section. Food items for sale add interest. 4
Atmosphere Almost continental, created by lively customer chatter. This is a place for the smarter set. [And the website crew! Ed] 5
Access This coffee shop is on the second floor but there is a lift. Disabled access to toilet. 4
Service On arrival, we were unsure if it was counter or waitress service and heard others ask the same question (it is counter service). However, all staff were cheerful, polite and efficient. A waitress spoken to was knowledgeable and apparently proud of the company and brand and gave a potted history of their development. 4.5
Information Large menus over counter. No table menus or opening times easily visible. Wifi access [password far too complex!] is available so company website [] with plenty of info can be viewed on site. 4
Value for money Order total – c.£9.50. You pay more but you definitely get more. (Please note – score of 3 = correct value for money.) 3.5
Toilets Two unisex toilets. Absolutely spotless. Good range of free accessories including nappies. Disabled and baby changing facilities. 5
Opening hours Mon to Sat 9.30am-5.30pm Sun & BH 11am-5am
Address 168 High Street, GU1 3HS Tel: 01483 346060 email:

The order: two coffees, one bakewell slice, one carrot cake

The view: probably the best view of the High Street there is

Caracoli: Food Store and Coffee shop The original inspiration for Caracoli came from Gail and Chris Nichols’ travels in the Antipodes and South Africa. They were struck by the stylish, contemporary cafes they found offering amazing coffee, cakes and light lunches whilst simultaneously incorporating a food store. On returning to the UK they were struck by how few similar places there were outside London and they wanted to bring this concept to the provinces. The first store opened in the Georgian market town of Alresford, Hampshire in November 2005. They also now have a shop in Winchester.

Caracoli is a family run business. James Nichols, Managing Director and co-owner is responsible for the smooth overall running and management of the company. Gail Nichols (whose son James is co-owner) is founder and Director of Caracoli and is responsible for the purchasing and brand presentation. [Source Caracoli Website]

Click here to see last week’s survey – Costa Coffee, Friary Centre. Which one will it be next week?

Have you used this Coffee shop? What are your views? Please add your own review by using the ‘Leave a Reply’ feature below…

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