A sign behind the counter claims that unattended children will be given an espresso and a free kitten, but of course little ones are positively welcomed here – a chesterfield in the corner is surrounded by toys and books. Leaflets for kids’ classes and a trippy selection of holistic sessions in the Yard rooms out the back underline Gracelands’ easy-going vibe. A lively kitchen behind a glass-fronted servery produces some cut-above dishes – fiery jerk chicken with robust sides of rice and peas and coleslaw, oven-roast omelettes – though many opt for salads.
There’s also a good range of children’s meals, including a pasta swamped with rich cheese sauce; and we were pleased to see Caravan coffee and Camden Town Brewery bottled ale. Curious, then, that the range of cakes, pastries and juices is so scant. First-timers might find the mix of counter and table service awkward – customers are expected to get their cutlery and glasses from the stock by the kitchen.