Forget Regent Street and Bond Street. In the residential roads between Stoke Newington and Finsbury Park lies one of London’s shopping hotspots. There’s Café Vintage for afternoon teas and retro threads, Sargent & Co for classic steel-framed road bikes and even what is probably the world’s only Sylvanian Families shop – dedicated to the woodland-creature toys. Until not too long ago there was also Banners & Bayonets, a military memorabilia shop. So it used to be the ideal spot to stock up on a family of anthropomorphic mice and cycle away on a retro steed, Iron Cross proudly pinned to your lapel.
Now, though, those martial premises have become this charming new deli, coffee shop and restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and light dinner. Almost everything on the menu is available to take away – there are sharing plates such as charcuterie or cheese, bowls of olives or toasted corn, or more involved dishes such as lentils, pomegranate, beetroot and goat’s cheese, or courgette with fresh peas and crisp bread. And everything we tried was brilliant. The recommended Portuguese vinho verde was a perfect summer evening tipple, though the Kernel beers also tempted.
Despite the casual air, it’s clear someone has had a good think about Fink’s before it was set up, and little touches set it apart: very cool crockery and cutlery, wine kept on ice and poured for you, a few simple design flourishes. Any street in London is much the poorer without a military memorabilia shop, but as a replacement Fink’s takes all the honours.
Reviewed by Euan Ferguson