Lunch isn't for wimps: Debenham's Cafe, Castle Court
Part of the flagship department store at Castle Court, the cafe in Debenhams recently had an overhaul and as a result has a surprisingly better range of grub than your usual in-house cafe, as well as a great view out over Royal Avenue.
As well as the usual sandwiches, panini and wraps, the counter also serves generously filled baked potatoes and a varied range of pastas including bakes, lasagne, penne and cannelloni, perfect during the unseasonably wet and cold weather. There are also cakes and traybakes and an exclusive range of coffees. Other beverages include frappes and iced smoothies to wash down your lunch as you relax with your shopping bags and take the weight off your feet after an exhausting trawl through the mammoth store. Prices are on the high side compared to some of the other food offerings in Castle Court but it's still possible to get a good lunch for under a tenner and around the fiver mark if you exclude treats. Expect to see a gaggle of husbands and boyfriends who would otherwise be looking very bored and lonely, looking quite full and satisfied after stuffing themselves with wholesome nosh as their other halves do the donkey work. One complaint would be the size of the plates - I had to remove my salad into a napkin to give myself more room and stop one of my baked potatoes (yes, you get two) from scudding off onto the table every time I tried to use my cutlery on it.