|no.26 rathbone place|
i passed by no.114 tottenham court road recently and was instantly taken by the large windows and the decor of the space. i also instantly connected the dots between it and no.26 rathbone place which i had seen on a recent walk through goodge street with o. unfortunately it has taken me a little while to get myself over to tapped and packed, the blame for which falls squarely on the fact that i am not located very near it. also, since o and i have freshly ground coffee at home (mostly monmouth) we don't really frequent coffee shops as much as we used to. nonetheless i think of myself as a collector of coffee places and cafes. i love unusual coffee shops with comfortable seating that lend themselves to extensive and lazy sundays with the observer newspaper.
|clock faces reflected in the mirror|
|reflections at no.26|
no26 rathbone place is perfect for this. it has the right interplay of colours and contrasts and old and new. it's body language is eclectic. i loved the proliferation of old fashioned large roman numeral clock faces reflected in a mirror behind the coffee machine. the cutlery has an air of being well-worn and i loved the use of tate and lyle treacles tins as stand ins for sugar bowls. i, who is visiting from uganda is following the italian principle for breakfast, that is eating sweet. i think the lady at the counter was a tad bit surprised that she asked for three different slices of cake - lemon and poppy seed, orange and chocolate marble cake and a chocolate flour-less cake heavily dusted with cocoa. i did try and explain that i was having the best of three worlds as she is leaving london to return to uganda in three days. i have to say i was very impressed at her capacity to finish all there slices unaided.
|tate and lyle treacle tin cans as sugar bowls|
i went the salad route picking a mix of the beet salad with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds and a rocket, goats cheese and peach salad. aside from being an expression of brightness the salads packed sweet, nutty and creamy flavours. the goats cheese was dense and creamy against the thinly sliced peaches. the rocket was mild and had a slightly fruity dressing. i loved the beetroot which was cut into little irregular cubes and roasted in a coat of balsamic vinegar. roasting beetroots concentrates their sweetness but the balsamic elevated them to a dark caramel. it is as if the edges had been seared in a fruit sugar caramel. i haven't had beetroot like this before. the sunflower seeds added a welcome nuttiness and texture.
of course a visit to tapped and packed would be incomplete without coffee. i had a latte that was creamy and yet very strong on the coffee. it was a very smooth roast and is definitely in my favourites category. now, if only tapped and packed were closer to work!