I first noticed that The Haberdashery was a little different from the other coffee houses in our new London area of Crouch End because of this sign:
It says, 'Unattended children will be given espresso and a free kitten.' I chuckled to myself all the way home - it was such a refreshing and funny sign I knew I had to visit the cafe next time I was shopping in Middle Lane.
So, a few weekends later, the Englishman and I stopped for a coffee and a bite to eat at The Haberdashery and found that we had - together with the rest of the area - fallen in love with this little quirky place serving fantastic coffee, salads, home made breads and cakes. There was just the one table free, and soon there was a queue outside.
Nothing at the Haberdashery is boring or ugly: even the loo has a design statement with the light cord adorned with a large roll of thread; the breads are served in small clay flower pots; the hot chocolate in tiny pudding basins; the food on vintage mismatched dishes. And in the background there's music from old vinyls.
When Massimo at the cafe told us about their plans to start a monthly supper club, we immediately booked the last table for a Swedish evening. That was two weeks ago.
Before this Friday, the day of the Swedish supper, I wondered if a small coffee place could pull off a full evening of food and fun, and whether the predominantly day-time venue would lend itself to night-time. But I shouldn't have worried; even from the outside the Haberdashery looked magical in the twilight. The tables were adorned with vintage coffee cups, inside of which little tea lights flickered. A string of fairy lights mingled with the bunting.
|Massimo serving the drinks.|
|The atmosphere was very jolly and festive.|
As soon as we sat down we were offered a glass of Prosecco - not very Swedish, I know, but the welcome drink set the celebratory mood for the evening.
And the food didn't disappoint either. For me it was a little like a busman's holiday, as you know if you've read my blog before, I lived in Sweden as a child and both my mother and sister still live in Stockholm, so I'm no stranger to Swedish cuisine.
The menu on Friday was very much 'Husmanskost', or everyday Swedish food. We started with home cured Gravad Lax and Toast Skagen. The salmon was absolutely delicious, not too dry or overly salty, and the crayfish tails in a sauce of mayonnaise and creme fraiche in the Toast Skagen were just lemony and creamy enough. The fresh dill, scattered everywhere, brought memories of summers spent on the Åland Islands. Lovely.
|Gravad Lax and Toast Skagen|
|Home made delicious bread with butter served in a sweet vintage pate jar.|
The second course evoked my childhood even more: Lindström's Biff (minced beef with beetroot) was a staple in our home. This one was juicy and very tasty and came with Hasselbackspotatis - a finely sliced potato roasted in the oven with butter. All very filling, but so very nice.
|Lindström's Biff and Haselbackspotatis.|
|Fillet of herring with creamy potato mash.|
Now I cannot wait for the next culinary evening at The Haberdashery, which will be a Croatian feast. We were promised smaller helpings, and I will try to drink less wine. (A fat chance...).
The next supper club at The Haberdashery is on May 11th. It's very good value at £35.00 for a five-course meal including a glass of Prosecco, but the evenings get booked up very quickly, so hurry.
Eatery, Coffe House and Old Vinyls
22 Middle Lane
London N8 8PL020 8342 8098