Fee & Brown, 50 High Street, Beckenham, Kent (along from M&S). Friday, c11 am.
Flat white: £2.60. Should be at least an 8 for that price. Looked the part pretty much but left me feeling a bit, “Oh, is that it”. 7/10
Beards: 0 but one on the cusp of beardage status
Laptops: 0 but expected about 3
Pushchairs: 0 but expected at least 2
Furniture: a few different kinds of matching, including some mini picnic bench style tables and chairs bolted down – seems a bit more Tower Hamlets than Beckenham to have furniture bolted down, or maybe I’m just not cool enough to appreciate the look
Decor: Not Scandi, not industrial, not Shoreditch but hints of all. Feels a bit confused, which is maybe why there was an impressive diversity amongst the many clientele
China: matching. Bonus points for using nice teapots (though I would say that because they’re the same Forlife teapots I use)
Food: food and cake menu. But the jury’s out on the almond croissants as one lady ordered one, meticulously removed as much icing sugar as she could, cut it slowly and neatly in half using her knife and fork, picked half up with the fork, scrutinised it, frowned, put it down and awaited a member of staff. She announced it “raw” and showed the rather doughy looking inside to the staff member, who apologised profusely and removed the offending croissant. The customer next to her then surreptitiously examined her half eaten almond croissant, deemed it fine and finished off the rest.
1/2 NOPUF: is this an alarming new trend? Surely not. It’s distressing.
Ambience: busy, light and airy but confused
Wi-fi: free with code displayed on a chalkboard
Toilet: Yes, and spacious at that
Summary: Good but slightly disappointing coffee for the price, busy but seats free on large communal tables, *shrugs* “it’s ok”. 6.5/10