Park Theatre cafe – London N4

The Park Theatre café: coffee *****; food *****, vibe ****

Best for eavesdropping on hilarious thesps.

The Park Theatre opened earlier this year right by Finsbury Park tube station, and while I have yet to go and see a play there, I have been to the café. In fact I’ve been there three times as part of my new and far more serious attempt to provide accurate  reviews of the coffeebars of London (or wherever; I’ve reviewed places in Paris and NYC, too yo!) As you will see I’m also introducing a rating system – people love numbers. And, if that wasn’t enough, each place will get a “Best for…” tag as well. I fucking spoil you all! At some point I’ll add all this extra stuff to all my earlier reviews, but that may take a while, and I’ve got novels to write.

The Park Theatre café has the Soho loft décor thing inside, a little like Harris and Hoole are doing, with exposed brickwork, wooden benches and little bits of chrome here and there,park cafe 2 overall it’s got a nice feel, although the bench thing means you’ll probably have to sit close to someone else. For me this is not usually a plus, but I guess some people don’t mind that kind of human interaction. I’m pretty sure you could use this to strike up a conversation with some one too, if that was your thing. While I don’t like having to breathe the same air as random strangers I do like to eavesdrop on them, and I caught a lovely little exchange at the Park Theatre café on my most recent visit. Bare in mind, this place is always full of actors.

A group of three people, two mid-thirties men, standing at the counter sipping espresso, one woman drinking an enormous cream topped “coffee” of some kind, being pretty much totally ignored by the two men.

Man 1: Have you been working out? (Seriously, he said this! It was even accompanied by a playful squeeze of man 2’s bicep.)

Man 2: Actually I have. I like your beard. Are you re-imaging yourself or is it for a part?

Man 1: A part. I’m playing the Dane; I’ve always felt Hamlet needed to show his base, animal side somehow.

Man 2: (Trying not to sound impressed/jealous) Good part.

Woman: I’m up for Lady Macbeth. I’m a bit worried I’m still too young. What do you think?

Man 1 and Man 2 : (Absolute indifference).

Anyhow. The macchiato was really good, strangely creamy and smooth. The menu is interesting too with a range of sandwiches that throw in things like onion and chilli chutney and smoked chilli mayo, as well as some nice sharing plates of meats, cheeses and such like.

They have a full bar, and I couldn’t help noticing their cocktails which included the Bank, Buffalo Trace bourbon, fig liqueur and fig jam. I didn’t have one – it was four in the afternoon. But if you do, let me know how it is.

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