Letchworth Garden City, close to where I grew up in North Hertfordshire, has changed a lot in recent years. Independent restaurants, bars and cafés have sprung up, making it a popular sociable hangout. The old Argos store was transformed into Cultivo Lounge, a venue we spend an awful lot of time in!
It’s difficult to explain what Cultivo Lounge is, without taking you on a guided tour. Is it a (large) café? A bar? A restaurant? It’s all of these things. I think that’s what we like most about it – Cultivo Lounge is basically whatever you want it to be. For Huw and I, it’s where we hold an informal weekly work planning session! We drop the kids off at school and head into town for a flat white (me) and a large Americano with hot milk (Huw). There’s a table in the corner – we call it ours!
At the weekends, for a treat, we sometimes visit for breakfast with the children. During weekdays it’s often a meeting point for catch ups with our friends. When we’re feeling energetic, we walk the Greenway into town, with the dogs, for a coffee at Cultivo Lounge.
Friends tell me it’s a lively evening venue too, staying open until midnight towards the weekend. Sadly, I never get invited out this time at night
However many times I visit Cultivo Lounge, I always spot another quirky piece of décor. It’s wacky – I’m fascinated by the lighting … it really shouldn’t work on a design level, but it really does! Take a look:
Even the loos are funky!
The venue is large – it was Argos beforehand remember. What you’ll find are tables to suit everyone – intimate tables for two; sink-in sofas; large and long dining tables; booth-like benches; soft stools, and a colourful outdoor seating area. So, it’s hugely functional … but it’s also quirky:
Menus and Deals
This is where I introduce you to the Lounge Breakfast. No need to explain too much – just observe:
It’s served all day too. When not getting stuck in to this beauty, we’re quite partial to their Lounge Eggs – poached eggs with hollandaise sauce on toasted sourdough muffins. Their Bacon Butties are recommended too!
For lunch I can heartily recommend their paninis … Pulled Pork Panini, Chicken and Chorizo Panini, Goat’s Cheese and Butternut Squash Panini – all good 🙂 Everything else (salads, sandwiches, ciabattas) looks good too.
Mains range from Beef Chilli, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Hot Smoked Salmon Fishcake, Bang Bang Chicken Noodles and Macaroni Cheese. We’ve tried a lot of these, but their burgers tend to catch our eye; I’ve never had it, but the Superhero Burger looks awesome! Millie always picks this one:
There’s also a Gluten Free menu.
As a connoisseur of Flat White coffee, I can recommend these in Cultivo Lounge:
They have a full drinks menu – it looks very comprehensive – but I don’t really drink alcohol, so can’t really comment further.
Cultivo Lounge runs weekly offers – Monday-Friday they have a Breakfast Club. From 5pm on Monday is ‘Cheeky Monday’ where you can have a free drink or dessert with a main course. Tuesday is Tapas Tuesday – three tapas and a glass of wine for £9.95 (this is very popular).
Kids and Dogs
During the daytime Cultivo Lounge is full of prams and pooches! It’s dog friendly (so long as they stay on the floor). Many tables have a Jack Russell or Chihuahua hidden away underneath! We met a beautiful Great Dane there once too – so dogs of all shapes and sizes are welcome. There’s a doggy biscuit barrel on the bar, and water bowls outside.
For parents with prams they love the SPACE inside Cultivo Lounge. There’s no tripping over buggies. It is family friendly with baby change facilities, bottle warming, and the toddlers and children have their own Little Lounger menu.
When we visit with the children, Toby goes over to the games shelf and finds the dominoes. We can spend ages playing this simple game, which we taught him while we enjoyed a coffee here one weekend. There are other games too – it’s a thoughtful touch.
Cultivo Lounge is open from 9am seven days a week. Sunday to Wednesday it closes at 11pm, Thursday to Saturday it remains open until midnight. It is located at 32 Leys Avenue, in the town centre of Letchworth Garden City. For more info, please visit their website here
If, when you visit, you see us tucked up in the corner drinking coffee while planning and plotting – please come over and say hello 🙂