It’s pretty much a given that any self-respecting artisanal coffee bar features a healthy dose of exposed brick, bearded baristas and Mac-tapping freelancers working away in the corner. Workshop Coffee is no different and on an abnormally quiet day in surrounding Clerkenwell, once we located the benches at the front of the cafe we stepped inside to the buzz of relaxed chatting and the coffee machine hard at work.
A new lunch and dinner menu has recently been introduced but when presented with a brunch menu, who can resist? A measured decision led us to go for one sweet plate and one savoury and it was probably the best decision I made all week. Corn fitters are one of my favourites and, unfairly, I think don’t always get the publicity they deserve. Here they are celebrated. Topped with the salty goodness of grilled halloumi, spinach and perfectly sweet kasundi (that’s Indian spiced ketchup to you and I) and of course a perfectly poached egg.
The waffles are listed as a sharing dish so that’s what we did. It was always going to be an ambitious move but seeing as brunch is basically two meals in one we very nearly managed. The two waffles were HUGE, served with a little pot of berry yogurt (we expected ricotta) but the ricotta must have been in the waffle mixture to make them so light and airy. The maple bacon is a well-known and much loved flavour combination so no surprises here.
The room itself is a big space but feels cosy with different areas – we sat round by the window, next to a long communal table hosting a business meeting, a date and a girls’ catch up. This neighbourhood feel is at the heart of Workshop Coffee so forget any of the pretentious connotations you have with this type of coffee house because here they are welcoming and the atmosphere relaxed. A huge roasting machine sits at the back of the room reminding you that they are passionate about coffee and you can taste it; my flat white was one of the best I’ve had in a long time; rich but not bitter.
This pocket of Clerkenwell and Farringdon is no stranger to the cool foodie and with neighbours including The Modern Pantry and Zetter Townhouse, Workshop Coffee has carved it’s own path whilst perfectly fitting in. As well as coffee, they serve wine and beer and breakfast, lunch and dinner but I think the good old brunch is hard to beat. If you’re passing make sure you drop in and if you’re not, add it to your ever-growing brunch bucket list.