It may have a less-than-perfect location in full view of the exodus of commuters from Balham station, but stepping into Trinity Stores is like being transported to a country kitchen – a city dweller’s take on a country kitchen, that is. There’s an assortment of farmhouse chairs; tables are set with fresh daisies or jam jars of brown sugar. These days, the place is less ‘store’ than café, with essentials in the chiller (from bacon and eggs to salad leaves and sausages) and a basketful of artisanal loaves and french pastries; most visitors come here to eat, not shop. The cooking is solid, rather than sensational, mixing perennial favourites (such as posh scotch eggs and quiches) with a selection of own-made picnic goodies. Our large, caramel-coloured sausage roll had a crunchy, slightly chewy pastry crust and a dense, beautifully seasoned middle. A tart with a crumbly, buttery base topped with morsels of soft green pepper and slices of thick pan-fried chorizo was equally delicious. By contrast, a salad of soft pearl barley with kidney beans and chunks of roasted veg (red peppers, courgettes, aubergines) needed a sharp vinaigrette to lift it, rather than a plain olive oil dressing. Breakfasts are popular, as are the staff: as sweet as the cake counter.