What a find!
Looking for a quiet place to read and work in Angel has always been a rather arduous venture. Plenty of lovely restaurants and a good choice of pubs, but when it comes to an undisturbed coffee to last you several hours there's not much hope. Even going all "You've Got Mail" and classic American with either of the two Starbucks you'll be lucky to find a seat, even on your own, regardless of the fact they have crowded those two square metres available with an unjustifiable myriad of ridiculous microscopic tables and chairs on end. And, assuming you did find a seat, would you really take it, when the place smells so much of rancid milk and the noise of Sex And The City wannabe quartets reaches dangerous levels? I thought not. Of course, in dire straits you could have once squatted in one of the armchairs in Borders for a few hours of undisturbed peace but, now that the big mama of books has gone, what is a poor literary pilgrim in need of a place to create to do? Well, try Tinderbox. A new addition to that monstrosity that is the Angel complex. Its ground floor entrance is cleverly disguised as an unassuming espresso bar and the horrid Asian buffet distracts most people away from the first floor entrance. It is out of desperation alone that on a Sunday afternoon I discovered my new favourite Angel cafe.
Yes, the unusually cubic arrangement of seats and tables right by the entrance do remind one of a strange black leather version of a Cbeebies set, but past the bar you'll discover a solo writing heaven. There are hobbit sized booths if you come with company, quiet solo seats on the mezzanine, a couple of recycled leather train seats with adjustable footrests and one big table full of the papers of the day where solitary visitors can squeeze in and read a book in peace. Did I mention their chai latte is the best I have ever had? The froth itself is worth the £2.60!
Perhaps the staff are the only drawback. They hate both you and Tinderbox and make you want to stick your neck out and have a peek behind them, in case they really are being held at gunpoint while they’re making your coffee. But then again they might not be allowed any of the chai latte, which is terribly addictive, and might resent customers for this. Who knows?!
What I do know is that I'll be back next Sunday, quite early, to try the mezzanine.