Our continuing, caffeine-fuelled quest to show you some of our favourite coffee shops in London.
What brings a neighbourhood to life is ultimately the people. In this tiny corner of what is still officially Islington, somewhere between Dalston and Newington Green, it's a girl, that is making all the difference at the delectable and bustling local café -Tina, we salute you.
The coffee is the seasonal blend from Square Mile, carefully prepared by lovely Antipodean Barristas Lee, Lou & Annalise. Cakes are homemade by Steve. Bringing the idea of 'where everybody knows your name' is the helpful wall where your loyalty stars are kept for you, so no digging around the purse. Particularly notable are the very pretty and tasty cupcakes which featured modestly in the Londonist Cupcake Throwdown. Happily retro kitsch is represented with the Victoria Sponge and Lamingtons also are worth a look. If cake first thing is a bit much there are plenty of other options for breakfast - granola or toast with communal, local and upmarket jams and spreads or avocado and tomato. Tasty sandwiches and biegels from Brick Lane and a few pretty salads are on offer for lunch.
To stand out a café generally needs a good strong identity, and Tina has that in spades - irreverence and warmth from the space and the people that work there. In keeping with the arty East End crowd that frequent it they offer 6 week residencies to up and coming young artists. This month it's the turn of Matthew Swift who has done a series of almost ethereal, but cheeky, hand drawn illustrations that complement the space with a shot of irreverence to go with your shot of coffee.
See previous entries in the London Blend series.
Tina, we salute you, 47 King Henry's Walk, N1 4NH, open Tuesday-Saturday 8am-7pm, Sunday 10am-7pm
Words by Naomi Tarszisz and photos by philrush.