Eggs Milk Butter

This is a teeny tiny independent corner cafe/coffee shop that opened up about 3-4 months ago on the corner of Tottenham Road and Southgate Road in De Beauvoir/Islington. Eggs, Milk, Butter serves decent coffee at pretty standard prices – e.g. £2 for my standard order of americano with a healthy double kick of espresso. There are also slabs of fresh cake, croissants and muffins on the counter and a short breakfast menu (including avocado on toast, baked eggs, museli etc at very reasonable prices under or around a fiver). For those who live at the top end of Balls Pond Road and in favour of supporting local independent ventures (as opposed to the Costas and Starbucks of this world), it is worth taking note of this new caffeine hub in an otherwise empty stretch of Southgate Road.

Of further interest, the USP of Eggs, Milk, Butter (if this is your thing) is that it holds a selection of comic books to browse through. Whilst interesting to skim whilst waiting for your order, the coffee is enough of a draw for me on its own (along with it being very conveniently located right by my house). I plan to return very soon to try out the breakfast too.

De Beauvoir Deli

A short post to sing the praises of my local deli – This kind of shop is right up my street, both metaphorically and literally, which means that I frequent it often. It also reminds me of the fact that actually in many parts of the UK (and indeed London), a “local” deli is rather a thing of the past -instead we seem to be happy to buy our groceries from a Tesco Metro. I am glad to see that in this part of North London, the locals are bucking the trend and we have not only a local deli, but also local grocers and bakers too.

De Beauvoir Deli is literally bursting with delicousness and makes a welcome pit-stop on the otherwise quite empty Southgate Road – A conucopia of baked goods, coffees, teas, cheeses, pates, deli-wares, sandwiches, together with chilled pre-made lasagnes, hams, preserves etc. It’s the perfect place for picking up breakfast, a coffee on the run, or some deli goods for a picnic lunch or antipasti before a dinner party.

I’m clearly not the only fan either, as whenver I go in, the handful of tables have all been nabbed and a mixture of locals and passers by are browsing the wares.

I haven’t by any means sampled everything the deli has to offer, but my top recommendation is to try the portuguese custard tarts – divine!

Cortado Coffee Bar

I love my coffee. I used to try and stay strong and make my morning coffee at home. But it’s a tough resolution to keep when my walk to work every morning takes me past a number of coffee shops, both the standard chains and some great little independent places. And so, this morning I had to cave in, as a new independent coffee shop called Cortado has just opened on New North Road, between the Canal and Shoreditch Park, which marks the halfway point on my daily commute. One of the reasons I stopped this morning was I’d managed to get myself out of the house more quickly than usual, meaning I had the time to indulge, but also the smiley girls who run Cortado had chalked an enticing pavement sign complete with arrows leading to their door, reading “Yummy Allpress Coffee this way!” It was all it took to push me over the edge of indecision and so I followed the arrows.

Whilst I can’t really write a full review on the basis of one americano, what I can say is that the coffee was indeed yummy and properly made, service was efficient and friendly, and the girls look like they have the makings of a cute little coffee bar – a full coffee menu (including the namesake cortado) at standard prices (£2 for an Americano) together with a couple of countertop cakes on display and a promise of sharing boards along the lines of cheese and charcuterie on the menu – I will have to try the food another time. A unique spin on the coffee loyalty card scheme – Cortado has a loyalty chalk-board, when you buy your first coffee, your name is chalked up on the board and each subsequent coffee marked up until you reach 9 and then your 10th is free!

I know I will definitely be back for a caffeine fix on my morning commute and this makes a welcome addition to an area which is currently somewhat devoid of cafes/coffee bars, straddling as it does the busy road between the centres of Shoreditch and Angel. Hopefully it will attract trade from the attached apartment blocks and passers-by like myself. If you are in the area and in need of a caffeinated pick-me-up and a friendly chat, give it a whirl!

Epicurean Wrap-up

Coffee: £2 for an Americano, but on a quick glance at the menu, flat whites and capuccinos were also around the £2 mark
Value Barometer: Standard London Coffee Prices, on a par with both the chains and independents
How to get there: New North Road (next to Co-op, by bridge over Regents Canal and Gainsborough Studios Apartments) – on bus routes towards Old Street from Angel/Islington/Stoke Newington
Go if: You like independents and service with a smile
Don’t go if: You prefer Starbucks
You may also like: Salvation Jane (Old St/City Rd) and the larger cafe-bars of Allpress on Redchurch Street, Workshop Coffee Co (formerly St Ali) on Clerkenwell Rd, Caravan (Exmouth Market), all of which have on-site coffee roasters and serve a mean brunch (to be reviewed soon!)