Friday, 8 June 2018

Review: Jacob The Angel

It's good to go somewhere for a 'nice' coffee.  I like nice coffee and a nice sit-down, often with a nice cake in a nice place.  I use chain outlets when I'm somewhere like at the airport but where possible, I'm all in favour of supporting independent and quirky venues.

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

London has some real gems and one of them that I've recently become acquainted with is Jacob The Angel.  Set in the parameters of Neal's Yard in Covent Garden, it is cushioned cutely in between its holistic merchant neighbours and their pastel coloured frontages.  It is quaintly denoted as being building number:  16½ .

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Run by the same team behind Soho's success story The Palomar and recent triumph The Barbary (which is next door), this is a more casual affair capturing the beverage and take away brigade.   On sale was the usual array of coffees and cakes, but when we arrived mid-afternoon there were only a few sandwiches/bagels left, but there were good flavour combos for vegetarians taking in hints of the Levant (a la The Palomar).  Salads such as Sweet Potato, Coconut Yoghurt, Chilli Butter, Sumac, Almonds & Coriander and sandwiches such as Roasted Portobello Mushroom, Peanut Satay & Picked Vegetables to choose from.

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

It is only tiny, with a longish bench on one side and a couple of tables on the other plus a few more outside, so I imagine it can get full very quickly at peak times and so maybe their take-away option may be more realistic.  But if so, your environmental conscience can be placated as they boast sustainability credentials of recyclable/biodegradable packaging and with the use of free range goods via ethical, local producers, it mirrors the values of many.

Interestingly, whilst you can dream up all sorts of thoughts as to who Jacob is and why he's revered to as beatific, the story goes there was a man, called Jacob (from the Middle East), who opened the first ever coffee house in England in 1651 at the Angel Inn - hence the name Jacob the Angel!  Who knew eh?

We have a lot to thank Jacob for really, for being the pioneer in coffee culture as we know it today and I'm sure he'd be thrilled to be celebrated in this way all these years on.  So I'll raise my coffee cup and toast Jacob's initiative whilst I have my nice sit-down with a very nice cappucino.

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