Graveney and Meadow, Tooting

29 Jan

I discovered this little gem of a place during a lovely girly catch up with a couple of friends. There is a lovely ambience indoors, with big comfy sofas scattered around the place and dim lighting making it that little bit more intimate. It’s pretty huge, actually. There are tables too, for those of you who prefer a proper place to sit to tuck in to some rather fantastic sounding nosh.  The decorations are really funky – little bits and bobs of old school sewing shop type things, and odd random things you might find in an antiques shop. Now when I heard about this place,  I had my reservations; it is a cafe, a bar, a bakery and a restaurant. It all seemed too much. However, given the size of the place and the opening hours it seems to work rather well. There’s something for everyone; I spent quite a while lingering around the bakery counter eyeing up the many delicious treats which they had on offer. They looked goooood. According to the website they make most things fresh daily, and there are specific times at which baked goods are made (e.g. early morning for croissants and afternoon for chelsea buns – yes please…!).  When we visited during the day there was a large table of mums and babies (and lots of prams), but again, given the size and the layout we were able to tuck ourselves away around the other side of the bar and barely even noticed them (I have nothing against mums and babies of course, but I know that it can be quite intimidating if you’re going somewhere for a quiet drink only to be faced with the pram-squad and screaming children).

No one ever thinks of Tooting as a place to find specialty coffee, so my expectations weren’t high, so I was very pleasantly surprised when my mocha turned up looking like THIS:

photo (2)….and even more pleasantly surprised that it tasted amazing. I regretted not ordering a coffee. However, I visited again today and grabbed a take out latte on my way to my GP practice. It was a very good quality coffee; it could have been a little hotter temperature wise, and in hindsight I wish I had ordered a flat white to try to get some more depth of flavour, but it was well made. Sadly I was a little distracted today and don’t remember about the tasting notes, but with their beans sourced from Workshop Coffee I can only imagine that they must update their beans in line with their supplier. I’ll check to be certain.

My only disappointment with this place was the price of the coffee, really. With pretty reasonably priced booze, and pretty reasonably priced food, I was a bit disappointed to have to pay £2.30 for a take out coffee. I know that many people are suggesting that Tooting is the new Balham, but realistically it’s not there yet. Perhaps I am being a little harsh, because their prices do match those in Balham (apart from their take out prices – which I genuinely believe need to be at £2, max) and the coffee is matched in quality, but I just feel that given the area it is a little bit on the pricey side a little too soon. That said, I would be prepared to pay £2.3o for a sit in coffee over a relaxed brunch in such a wonderful atmosphere

I do need to also tell you about the toilets. This might be a little bit weird, but err, well, toilets are pretty important to me. If a place has a really grimey grotty dirty toilet, I am seriously put off. Definitely. Not. Here. Their toilets are SO cool! I can only speak about the ladies’, of course (I wasn’t so excited that I felt a need to sneak a peak in the mens’); it is laid out like a dress maker’s shop. There are sewing patterns on the walls, and random dresses hung from hangers. It was also really spacious, so I can imagine that on those girly cocktail nights people wouldn’t be squished up against one another fighting for mirror space to touch up the lipstick. Brownie points!

Score: 8/10 – good coffee, great atmosphere and layout, just need to drop the price of their take out coffee!

Price range: Varies depending on what you’re buying; coffee around £2.20-2.30, £1.50 for filter

Would I go back: yes, but probably not every day for penny-pinchings’ sake

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