There’s a definite theme developing among independent central London coffee joints, a style of interior design that’s fast becoming textbook. From Kaffeine to Farringdon’s Farm Collective to this week’s victim Foxcroft & Ginger, they all share striking architectural similarities. Concrete counters feature heavily, as do half-finished decorating jobs and quirky furniture, as if they’ve been hastily botched together by some hip and scruffy middle-aged urbanite (Mark Ruffalo perhaps). Not that I’m complaining; it’s a lot more appealing than the “comfy” armchairs, Travelodge artwork and endless cycles of the Broken Bells album in my friendly neighbourhood Starbucks.
Foxcroft & Ginger sits by the market just north of Soho’s sex alley, and its big glass front looks out onto an irate potato in a bright blue jacket selling gnarly veg. It distinguishes itself by taking the eccentric mishmash décor to the next level. While I plumped for a relatively normal vintage chair bearing a faux-Vivienne Westwood cushion, there was all manner of higgledy-piggledy stuff to perch on, including a full vaulting horse, while the toilets were a cubic mess of MDF and plywood that felt like a treehouse made by a particularly incompetent dad. They served my flat white in a teacup. Bit weird, but it did the job – the coffee was rich and creamy but lacked the bud-zinging bitterness of Flat White’s flat whites, which are available a few doors up.
We’d make the trek here on the promise of brunch, which to me means hot plates of eggs and bacon and the rest. It must say something about the state of brunch options in the capital that this place appears in “top brunch” lists, because it’s more of a hot sandwich bar. However, its a damn good sandwich bar. Served on sheets of baking paper on thick wooden boards, with a pile of sea salt and cracked pepper in the corner, our munchies were magnificent. A sausage bap was a crunchy claw of toasted roll snaring three fat sausages split lengthways and smothered in gloopy caramelised onion while a toasted ham and cheese contained some kind of béchamel sauce and came drizzled in mustard-tainted honey. Spectacular stuff, and a fair way to pep yourself up ahead of a day’s shopping / laughing at perverts.
Clientele: Only us and Laptop Guy in the corner
Price per head: £6.50
Soundtrack: They take the softly softly approach – mostly XX-chromosomed singer songwriters.