Simple things done flawlessly
London is famous for a lot of things but cafés are not one of them. Don’t get me wrong, you can find coffee of the highest quality in many parts of the capital but the café culture lacks identity and fan base. I visited many places the past year but none seem to tick all the boxes of a proper café. Some lost on the interior design that is supposed to create a relaxing, warm environment where one can doze off or even work, and others lost on menu variety and product quality. When I entered Timberyard on a Saturday morning, I knew I had found the package.
The space is artistic, easy on the eye and wins you over at a glance. Comfortable sofas to relax on, an old trunk used as a coffee table, artwork for sale on the walls, a great open space downstairs for extra seating and free iPads for customers are just some of the ingredients that make this place work. I sat on the stools by the window, opened my laptop and went over to the counter to order.
You do not go there to marvel at the wonders of molecular gastronomy. You go there to enjoy simple things done flawlessly.
The array of food choices and sweet delicacies is enticing and attractive. From freshly made sandwiches to soups, cakes, salads and cookies, you simply want to try a little bit of everything. I ordered an iced latte and buttered toast with jam. When an order is that simple, there is no real room for error. If the bread is not fresh or the jam is sour then you will probably not be a returning customer. Sometimes places that do not serve food as their focal product undergo greater scrutiny than restaurants themselves.
I sat by the window and investigated the space. It felt so serene. An oasis in a part of the city that is so animated and lively. Once the door closed, time moved slower and people seemed to loosen up and recharge. Reading newspapers and magazines, listening to music or even working on their laptops, the customers looked happy.
My breakfast arrived on a wooden plank, with an imposing jar of jam stealing the show. It’s all in the details for places like Timberyard. The big, chunky slices of bread, all you can eat house jam and the perfect blend to wash it all down worked as a charm. You do not go there to marvel at the wonders of molecular gastronomy. You go there to enjoy simple things done flawlessly.
61-67 Old Street