The perfect Blend

4 Jul

And so it begins… Christmas in July. That curious concept known only to the crazy bunch of people that ‘create’ Christmas {photograph it, write about it, tell us how to style it, suggest what one should cook/buy/cobble together} months ahead of time.

So, here I am in Shoreditch ‘art directing’ turkeys {yup, it’s an actual job} while all else around me enjoy what constitutes summer. One perk is the rare opportunity to visit places I’ve been meaning to for ages. This Tuesday morning, after a meal at The Duke of Cambridge and a stop over in Stoke Newington the night before, I ventured north to my friend Steve’s new cafe in Harringay. Here’s the review {and I think it goes without saying I LOVED it}. Note the 1960s Fogg & Morup copper pendant light hanging pride of place over the counter – it came from our house, and couldn’t have ended up in a lovelier setting.

Just off the bus stop at Bereseford Road on Green Lanes, Blend Cafe is run by Steve – a friendly Aussie with over 13 years of insider coffee credentials to his name, and Linda – an über-baker and food blogger. Spurred on by a mutual love of coffee, cakes and stylish décor, they have created the café of their dreams, and it’s bringing a refreshing dose of community spirit to the up-and-coming Harringay ladder.

Steve behind the counter at Blend

Steve behind the counter at Blend

Bright, welcoming and spacious, it’s furnished with a classy mix of parquet flooring, desirably mismatched tables and chairs {some donated by family, others sourced from Denmark}, contemporary art, and effortlessly stylish statement lighting. It’s a million miles away from the obvious, uninspired interior of the high street’s carbon copy coffee shops.

Children are not only welcome, they are positively encouraged – there’s a kids area with chalkboard and cute little stools, and there are bite-sized goodies for little ones on the menu. It’s already staked its space as a social hub for families and coffee lovers in the area. Steve told me it’s not unusual for them to be full to the brim with a bank of buggies and babies in one corner, and a chilled contingent of creative types engrossed in their laptops and lattes in the other.

Linda bakes an assortment of bread and cakes daily, and the menu, featuring simple, but original salads, sandwiches and soups along with light brunch dishes changes every day. If you’re lucky you can grab a quick Bircher muesli or decadent Brioche French Toast for breakfast. Or, choose carrot & courgette cake, Anzac biscuits or a scone from the ever-changing selection of sweet treats at the counter. All dishes are created with the curiosity and experimental approach of a true food lover.

The ever-changing menu

The ever-changing menu

 

French Toast - Blend style. Swoon!

French Toast – Blend style. Swoon!

And did I mention the coffee?

It’s hard not to be swept away by the sheer style of Blend, but the stars of the show – the lattes, the flat whites, the espressos – have all the substance you could hope for. My flat white was the best I’ve ever tasted – all coffees are made from Climpson and Sons beans, which are ground to order so they are fresh as can be. Steve talks of coffee with the insight and knowledge of an artist describing his latest masterpiece. His quest for the ideal blends {as you can imagine} was a pilgrimage of epic proportions.

Put simply, Linda and Steve have poured all their passion, skill and creativity into every cup they serve up at Blend. With its good reputation spreading right the way up the Harringay ladder and beyond, this lovingly conceived local is a must-visit, even if it’s not on your doorstep.

Open 8am to 6pm on weekdays, 10am to 6pm on weekends

587 Green Lanes, London, N8 0RG – Tel. 020 8341 2939

email info@localblend.co.uk www.localblend.co.uk

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3 Responses to “The perfect Blend”

  1. EmmaSlater October 19, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    Next time you are in town you should come to see us at the pig and butcher

  2. travelets November 26, 2013 at 5:13 am #

    Good post!

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