Sunday, 13 November 2011

A review of Loafing

79 Lauriston Road, Victoria Park Village, London, E9 7HJ

I’ve had a horrid cough and cold lately so haven’t been out and about too much. However, the weather was beautiful today so my other half agreed to a walk in Victoria Park. Bundled up to protect my chest from the November chill, we ventured across the park to Lauriston Road. Stopping first for a swift half of Aspall and packet of crisps sitting in the sunshine outside the Royal Inn on the Park, I soon decided I needed something a little more warming and hearty.

We headed further in to Victoria Park Village and popped into ‘Loafing’, a tiny little cafe on the corner of Lauriston Road and Victoria Park Road. With a stunning window display of cakes piled high on a tower of glassware, I was curious as to the kind of savoury fare on offer. Our first selection was the cheese on toast and salmon and cream cheese sandwich. However, they’d had such a busy day that they’d run out of bread by 2.30pm (seems kind of ironic given their namesake) and only had focaccia to offer us. Going with their suggestion we had one toasted focaccia with mozzarella, olives, sunblushed tomatoes and basil, and another with mozzarella, parma ham and basil. Both were y-u-m-m-y. I had a latte and he had a cappuccino, as usual.

Most of the savoury menu is under a fiver and there’s a good selection of hearty sarnies and salads. A slice of cake is between £2 and £3 and there’s a large cold drinks cabinet as well as a full selection of hot drinks including Monmouth coffee and hot chocolate.

We could only get a table right by the front door and next to the counter so it wasn’t the most relaxing experience, with so many people coming and going. The indoor seating is limited, which I imagine may become a problem as the weather gets worse. However, today people seemed happy to sit both outside the front of the cafe and in its small back yard.

The decor is all distressed wood and vintage tea sets which looks great, but doesn’t make for very comfortable seating. I was perched on a cast iron garden chair, my fella on a rickety wooden one, and neither of us could fit our legs under the small table.

If you’re in the area and don’t fancy pub grub, then definitely give ‘Loafing’ a try. The whole experience was a little stressful, but the food and coffee delicious.

- Loafing doesn't seem to have a Facebook, Twitter or website. An interesting approach to marketing which rather suggests they don't care what people write about them...

All photography by Gareth Reid - @GarethReidPhoto

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