The Legal Cafe
81 Haverstock Hill NW3 4SL
020 7586 7412
Expect to pay: around £3-£6 for a light bite, £2 for a coffee, £120 for a one hour legal consultation.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Soups, salads, sarnies and...subpoenas? This tasteful cafe brings new meaning to the phrase 'law and order'. On the one hand, it's a friendly corner café serving light bites and superior Illy coffee. On the other, it offers cut-price legal advice and document review courtesy of a local lawyer.
The food is decent but nothing too innovative—soup from a carton, and those colour-iced cupcakes that seem to grow on trees around the lower slopes of Hampstead Hill. But there are some nice touches here, like the vibrant aquarium and employment of 'accidental and/or unforeseen spillage confinement devices'—otherwise known as coasters.
They don't overtly make the connection, but the café harks back to 17th Century precedents, when gentlemen of letters would use coffee shops to conduct their pecuniary and legal affairs. One noted patron of such establishments was Sir Richard Steele, founder of The Spectator and Tatler. He once owned the land upon which this café now sits, as immortalised in this etching.
The unusual theme, impressive fish tank and free wifi make the Legal Cafe a worthwhile destination, even from Zone 1. We bought the law, and the law's bun.