The Dish and The Spoon has only just celebrated it’s one month anniversary and yet even when I visited in it’s first week it was doing a roaring trade; clearly a good cafe/coffee shop was exactly what Nunhead residents were crying out for. My singular Saturday afternoon visit demonstrates why; located on a relatively quiet South East London Street, I’d go so far as saying almost residential, it’s a breath of bresh air from the newsagents and takeaways. It’s great to see a new cafe with good coffee in the South East, I know there are a few more cropping up now, but most of the good coffee shops these days tend to loiter around the City and East London(I’m obviously discounting gems like Browns of Brockley and Birdhouse). Not only are dish serving good coffee but it’s locally roasted too, and by none other than Dark Fluid, who owner Shona explains were instrumental in sorting out the coffee side of things, being hands on with the machine and staff training, their locality obviously being a massive bonus.
As with many places I hear about these days, I first started chatting to Shona on twitter as she was in the throws of setting up the shop, as it got close to the opening date things got even more interesting when it transpired friend and fellow blogger Jassy was going to be heading up the kitchen, a steady stream of drool worthy images filling my instagram feed promised much, and by the time they launched, the cafe was pretty much top of my list; the fact it was local (ish) just a bonus.
Initial thoughts are that it’s far bigger than I had been expecting, the space is, well, spacious, and on this first late saturday afternoon, pretty quiet. The look is pale wood, unfussy and functional, I feel as though I’m sitting in a grown up nursery school canteen; there is cutesy wooden wall art from a local artist, a section at the back for little people that is furnished with toys, I note a very sweet selection of brightly coloured miniature crockery behind the counter. Despite the family friendly focus I think the space is large enough for this not to dominate (I say this, however there was a distinct lack of families on my visit…), it also has an air of welcome unpretentiousness that once again I find refreshing. Piles of mags and cookery books dress the front window ledge, and I *heart* Nunhead shoppers adorn a wall, this is pleasingly un-urban/cutting edge/hipster. Thank god. No, this is everything that an area like this needs; a change of scenery for locals, friendly staff, good coffee, and food. Dish also has a small deli counter with a selection of mainly British cheeses and charcuterie with some European favourites that have snuck in recently too.
Lawrence of Dark Fluid has obviously trained the staff well, as I have two excellent espresso’s. My sweet soda bread scone was delicious, served with cream and jam, yes cream THEN jam, sadly the sticky buns had sold out. The sandwiches are freshly made and sound thoroughly tempting, there also appears to be a steady stream of sweet and savouries coming out of the kitchen throughout the day. I noticed they were trialing a battenburg the other day, I may have to try and coinincide my next visit with the next time that emerges from the oven…
The Dish and Spoon is an excellent local cafe, just what the area needs, but don’t be put off by the family focus; according to Shona it’s more ‘hectic’ in the mornings. So do as I did and visit a bit later on if that’s not your thing. You may have to forgo a sticky bun though….Tweet