- a blog about food and value

Ripped off in Stillorgan

brambles_cafeI went for lunch the other day in Brambles Cafe, upstairs in the Stillorgan Shopping centre. I know there are a few Brambles outlets around Dublin but I hadn’t been to one before. I’m also aware that they use organic ingredients and are fair trade – good for them. However, offering organic produce is not reason enough to charge what they please.

I ordered two ‘large coffees’ and two ‘Gourmet sandwiches’. Both sandwiches had salami, egg mayonnaise and rocket and were on plain brown sliced bread. They turned out to be far from gourmet. With the exception of the rocket, they were as regular as any sandwich you would get in a convenience store and the two large cups of coffee were, at best, medium size cups of mediocre coffee.

If it hadn’t been talked up so much I wouldn’t have grumbled so heartedly when I saw the price – it cost me €15.20 for the lot!

I’m aware that Brambles is an Irish company and I always try and support Irish business but this was a ridiculous price for what was given, particularly these days when there are so many lunch deals on offer.

After the costly and unsatisfactory lunch, I then experienced the proverbial ‘salt into the wounds’ when I went over to ‘Fruit World’ around the corner. For 1 butternut squash, 1 small celeriac and 2 grapefruits – I was charged €7! Completely outrageous. What’s worse is I didn’t say anything which I normally would, I was just so perplexed.

The final insult came when I tucked into the grapefruit; it sucked and not in a good way – sour with no taste. Oh what a world.


  1. Brambles have the most delicious-looking cake selection, but their pricing has always left me feeling a little sour. I stopped going after being charged €2.50 for a 500ml bottle of water.

  2. Brambles is one of the biggest ripoff cafes in Dublin. Although the food is, in general, to quite a high standard, paying 15 euros for 2 sambos and coffees is ridiculous. The Sandyford branch is as bad. I remember paying over ten euros for a panini and drink.

  3. Myself and Mr Finn were in their Dundrum branch last year and the food fell far short of the expectations created by their high prices. As mentioned above, the sandwich wasn’t even up to O’Brien’s ‘standards’, service was pants and I felt so bad for convincing im to eat there, refused to let him pay and bought him a McDonalds Fudge Sundae to compensate.

  4. I was looking for something to eat in Dundrum Shopping Centre tonight. Even though I used to work in Stillorgan and I’m well aware of Brambles ridiculous prices, fancy looking but average tasting food and sometimes snotty service I gave their menu a once over, thinking they couldn’t be charging as much since the recession hit. A “gourmet pizza slice” was €9.50. Just how gourmet can pizza get that it’s worth a tenner a slice? I moved on.

  5. I have to agree…Brambles=rip off 🙁

  6. I went to the one in Dundrum. I can’t remember the exact details but the coffee was either free or discounted with any breakfast before 12. We were there at a quarter to. We waited ages for our order to be taken (maybe on purpose, waiting til after 12) and they tried to charge us the full coffee price. I point blank refused to pay and gave the exact amount and walked out..

  7. The coffee shop in Hugh Lane Gallery is unfortunately a Brambles. 3.25 euros for a cappuccino…. Says it all

  8. Couldn’t agree more, I live in Stillorgan and having tried Brambles once will never again darken their door after they totally ripped me off. We have just moved to the area and myself and my son decided to go along for breakfast/brunch, my son ordered (a very average) breakfast, which included a free tea, I ordered a very nice quiche and salad and a juice. I was was dumbfounded when charged just shy of €25 for both. As I said NEVER again, once bitten……

  9. Were you charged a total of €25, or €25 for each of them (total of €50)?

  10. I don’t go to Brambles ever. Yes, their cakes look amazing but they’re always dry and stale. I had coffee there with a friend recently, and my croissant was so dry in practically disintegrated when I cut into it. The food is generally reheated to death. A horrible place. That said, I’ve always loved the decor in Stillorgan, but still, not worth it!