Wednesday, 22 June 2011
Thursday, 2 June 2011
I may well regret this post. For I am about to reveal to you The Secret of Whimsy. Well, maybe that’s a bit of a grand statement, but this truly is my ultimate writing place, my top two café of all time, my place-to-come-to-in-time-of-need, my failsafe, trusted artspace / café / garden / purveyor of a damn fine cup of coffee…
Readers of Whimsy, I present to you...
Hidden away on Arkwright Road, just off Finchley Road is the beautiful late Victorian ex-library that is home to the Camden Arts Centre. There is a changing exhibition every few months, and that is one of the best things about this café – you can always combine a visit with a quick skip and jump around the exquisitely configured galleries with sky-high ceilings, wooden floors, masses of natural light and perennially interesting exhibitions.
The re-design of the building is an architectural tour de force – there is a pretty little garden hidden behind a glass wall
that does a remarkable job of blocking the traffic noise and makes you feel as if you are hidden in a caffeine-fuelled utopian vision of arts for the people!
A major pull of the Camden Arts Centre is its huge tables, daily newspapers laid out, free wi-fi and lap-top friendly atmosphere. I have written dissertations, novels, poetry and endless rants from these tables, and today, for the first time, I am actually BLOGGING LIVE from here!
Is this the birth of site-reflexive blogging? The coffee here was voted as Time Out’s best cup of coffee, and I have to say it is always delicious, never burnt or bitter and one of the few cups of coffee on offer in London that actually gives you a caffeine hit.
I wouldn’t recommend the cakes here, but fresh, home-made, healthy and unusual salads (‘Salad?’ I hear you say, ‘Salad in the World of Whimsy?’ – well, there’s a first time for everything…) are made on the premises right before your eyes every morning, and provide good value for money as well as plenty of your five a day. (It is useful to recompense for the endless slices of cake by coming here for lunch once in a while.)
This café is a complete contrast to Burgh House – whilst you may well fall in love over a cream tea at Burgh House, it would be far more appropriate to come in city-chic post-modern polos and talk Ginsberg over an Americano at the Camden Arts Centre – but equally one of the best in our city of love and poison.
Until next time,
Silver Whimsy x