October Café (CLOSED)
Time Out says
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Please note, October Café has now closed. Time Out Food editors, February 2019.
As any vegan will attest, eating a decent meal beyond the confines of home can be something of a trial. Enjoying a spot of vegan cake, though, is becoming ever easier. Dedicated bakeries are springing up (frosting-lovers will delight in Ms Cupcake in Brixton, for example), while ordinary cafés increasingly feature specialist bakes.
October Café takes the trend a step further by billing itself as the London’s first vegan tea room, serving a simple afternoon tea (or tea and cake separates) in a cosy space replete with second-hand furniture, mismatched crockery and a vintage atmosphere.
Barely a whisper of vegan intent appears at the pretty shopfront, but that’s part of the appeal. Rather than deterring non-vegans at the door, it courts the unwitting, winning people over with triumphant creations such as its Black Forest gateau. Here, a rich, bouncy and moist sponge meets a tart cherry filling, the combination completely sidestepping dry or dense vegan baking.
Elsewhere, ‘cheesecake’, stollen, fairy cakes, scones and giant cookies are among the range of competently executed confections, all made with obvious enthusiasm.
A brief selection of own-made savoury pastries were a little less successful – the ‘pork’ pie in particular simply didn’t offer the satisfaction of the real deal. But if you prefer vegan food with meat and dairy substitutes (rather than tofu and chickpea-loaded fare), this is an ideal destination.
It’s just a shame the place feels as if it’s yet to establish a steady clientele, lacking the buzz of a good café.
As if recognising the fact, a Charlie Brown poster hangs behind the counter: ‘How can we lose when we’re so sincere?’ it reads. Here’s hoping this genuine café wins out.
38 Old Street
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