Brickwood Coffee and Bread
This weekend just gone, I got to explore a little of what Tooting and Clapham have to offer when I went to visit one of my best friends. Before she moved, I did a little research (of course) ahead of our inevitable visits to stay and stumbled across Brickwood Coffee and Bread on Instagram. Now, I’m a sucker for a coffee shop with Aussie or Kiwi influences, offerings of brunch, banana bread and artisan bread, so a few scrolls of their Instagram told me it was a must!
The Tooting branch of Brickwood can be found in a corner of the covered Tooting market, an eclectic labyrinth of food, textiles, gifts and craft traders. The exterior (and interior too, I guess) has a warehouse chic feel, managing to exude warmth and welcome with a non-pretentious coolness at the same time.
I did exactly as the sign said and ordered myself a flat white, my go to coffee of choice. Also in the mix we had a chai latte, cappuccino and iced coffee. Brickwood use a bespoke blend of espresso beans, from renowned London roaster Caravan Coffee Roasters, known as the ‘Market Blend’, crafting their beverages using organic milk, filtered water and of course adorned with immaculate latte art. Nutty, sweet and silky; seriously, you could forget the food and just visit for a coffee and still leave satisfied.
It was around 2pm when we visited so unfortunately we weren’t looking for brunch on this visit, but I do need to tell you about something just as, or even more, exciting: banana and walnut bread with espresso butter. Thick and warm, toasty, nutty and buttery with a delicious coffee twang, this is by far the best banana bread experience I’ve had to date. I’m not sure I’ll have banana bread again without thinking of that espresso mascarpone like butter!
As good friends often do, and also because we do tend to get pretty envious of each other’s dishes, we shared a little of each, including a gluten and dairy free orange and almond cake, and two tomato, mozzarella and pesto sourdough toasties. Normally dubious over the consistency of gluten and dairy free sponges, I almost can’t decide if I preferred the orange and almond cake. It was insanely moist, packed with flavour and moreish to the very end. The sourdough toasties are proof to me that artisan bread means care and quality; I spent a long time hating sourdough bread for being sharp and difficult to eat, and have since come to understand that what I knew to be sourdough was a poor attempt. This was crusty and soft at the same time, filled with dripping and slightly salty mozzarella (forget bland supermarket balls), pesto and tomato. Drizzled with Sriracha sauce it was an extremely satisfying afternoon treat.
For a small space, Brickwood cleverly manages to fit in a fair amount of tables with enough to seat small groups, making it an ideal third place spot for individuals, couples or friends. Service here was fairly prompt but also non-interfering, never making us feel like we needed to hurry up and pay for the next table to take over. Generally though, you wouldn’t have to wait long to be seated as tables turn over pretty quickly here. We waited for probably around five minutes, and having now been I’d be happy to wait longer.
As a third place Brickwood ticked a lot of boxes for us, but one issue in Tooting market is the lack of a toilet so do watch out for that. Aside from this it provided delicious coffee and food, with a pretty varied menu in a cool setting that’s also great for sitting back and people watching. I’ll look forward to getting a chance to visit when we all meet there again, but for now I’ll have to content myself by swooning over their Instagram.
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