DARWEN is a hotbed of cafes, so you would assume they have to be up to scratch to remain competitive.

I was meeting a contact for lunch (not as glamorous as it sounds!), and he suggested Oliver’s Coffee House in Market Street, just across the road from the big plastics firm Lucite.

You never know what to expect from a cafe. But the ‘greasy spoon’ image seems to be on the decline, and Oliver’s is no exception.

You walk in to a good-sized, nicely decorated room that is light and airy, with plenty of tables.

There are even seats outside for those who wish to smoke, or sunbathe – neither applied in this case as it was Darwen in November, so it was raining.

I had a ham sandwich and a cappuccino, while my dining partner chose a full English breakfast.

The fare is pretty simple but there’s nothing wrong with that.

Better to stick to what you are good at than make a mess of being adventurous. The sandwich was huge and packed with good quality butcher’s ham and lots of fresh, crispy salad.

The full English looked delicious and appeared to be heartily enjoyed.

The service was quick and friendly and the bill came to just under a tenner, so we were both suitably happy.

As I said at the outset, there are a lot of cafes in Darwen – this one comes recommended.


  • Food: 9
  • Drink: 8
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 9
  • Value: 9