Blue Brick Café
Date & Hours Visited:
Thursday, 29 September 2016, 11.15am-3pm
Initially very quiet, but it got busier at lunch time and then quieter again around 2.30pm.
Very friendly. When I ordered cake I said 'If I'm spending so much time here I should order more', and the server said 'Oh, don't even worry about that!'
The coffee machine and the music on the radio were somewhat distracting at times, but I won't complain too much about BBC Radio 6. The chatter in the café, although part of the friendly and welcoming atmosphere, could also be distracting at busy times.
Mostly wooden, rustic-looking chairs and tables (seating 2, 3 or 6), which are very cosy and comfortable. Some outside seating as well, although even including those seats the café's capacity is only about 30 people. The 2-seater table I used was the only spot I could see with a power socket.
Fairly competitive for the area, especially some of the breakfast options and their daily soup. Their starter salads are £6 each and lunch main courses are £9 each, which is still pricey for me, though. I had a £3 glass of fresh grapefruit juice, a £9 spicy chickpea stew and a £3 slice of pistachio and spinach cake.
Food/Drink Quality & Selection:
Delicious, creative, homemade vegetarian food. Full disclosure: I've eaten here many times over the past year, although this was my first time working here. I adore their Fullest Vegan breakfast, which includes homemade beans, sourdough toast, mushrooms and spinach, roasted tomato, vegetarian sausage, and bubble and squeek.
As for this visit, my grapefruit juice was fresh, as advertised, and very tasty. The stew was rich and hearty, not too spicy for my wimpy taste, and served with brown rice, 2 vegetarian sausages and green salad, helping to justify the £9 price tag. The cake was also just lovely, with a pleasantly chewy sponge and a light mascarpone icing that had just enough sweetness to it.
Would I Work Here Again?
Yes, ideally during weekdays at non-peak meal times, but even when it was busy I found I was able to work. There was never any pressure for me to spend more money or free up the table, and the staff are attentive without being overbearing, making Blue Brick a good occasional alternative to working from home.
And another thing…
In case you couldn't tell, I love this place. It should reek of pretension, especially in this neighbourhood, but instead it's a welcoming little place that quietly makes very good food and is happy for people to sit with a coffee and a laptop for hours. Blue Brick Café may very well be the standard by which I judge all other cafés.