Candid Arts Café

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
© Heloise Bergman
Clerkenwell
Despite a forbidding entranceway illuminated by flickering strip lighting, the café at this progressive charity gallery boasts a suitably bohemian feel – bolstered, on our visit, by a harmonica tutorial taking place in an adjacent room, nearby conversations about Mikhail Bulgakov, and backgammon being played at a nearby table. Service was less attentive than we’d have liked, but the low-slung sofas and candlelit surroundings helped create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. That said, the café remains a better place to stop for lunch than dinner, with a range of cakes, coffees and teas that outweigh the merits of its functional mains, including the likes of roast chicken and grilled salmon – both served with rice and salad – and a vegetarian aubergine bake that we found a tad undercooked.
Venue name: Candid Arts Café
Contact:
Address: Candid Arts Trust, 3 Torrens Street
London
EC1V 1NQ
Opening hours: Meals served noon-10.30pm Mon-Thur, Sun; noon-11pm Fri, Sat.
Transport: Tube: Angel tube
Price: Main courses £4.90-£13. Set lunch £5.90 bento box.

Average User Rating

1.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
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Zack M


A cafe only accessible by two flights of steep stairs! I'm a fit 33 year old and it taxed me! And half way up the stairs - I squeeze past a group of ladies gathering or queuing outside the toilet. Nice touch! If this is the entree, I'm so looking forward to the main course! I nearly turned back at this point. Through two awkward doors and I'm met by a couple of teens on a sofa with a guitar and a half comatose "Hi". Who's this? A stoned waiter or have I gatecrashed a kids' sleepover? The cakes are in museum cases! Are they that old? They look OK, but no idea what they are. Eventually I get an order taken and I almost trip down some narrow, bitty steps and I'm in the main room that looks like a storeroom that's made a temporary effort. Not too bad, but bits of the ceiling on my table didn't fill me with joy. Eventually I get served by a less than conscious waitress that clearly would rather be somewhere else and right now they aren't the only one. Rubbish coffee and dead cake (you guess?). I left as quick as I could. This is a desperate place and you just know, with the way London is right now, that if I came back in 6 months it will be a fancy apartment development. This is a shame and given the opportunity, a disgrace. Avoid - there are great places to eat coffee and cake in London, this isn't one of them and you don't have to risk being killed by vast numbers of arrogance cyclists as you do getting here.

cocotravel

Tucked away down a side street and up one flight from street level, Candid Arts Cafe gives the impression of being a cafe that only those in the know are lucky enough to find. It's relatively spacious with lots of light, hard wood floors and decorated with patterned fabrics hanging on the walls. Smells of incense and there's no wifi so while it might be good place to read a book or chat with friends, if you've got work to do that requires Internet, you're out of luck. Mismatched couches and long wooden tables give this place a hippy charm but I'd say it's better on warmer, sunny days when you can take full advantage of the sunlight streaming through the large windows making it feel like a garden cafe. If you like the hippy vibe, I guess it would be perfect any time of year, but it lacks the cosy homey appeal in winter that this reviewer is craving.