Saturday, 10.20 am
Flat white: £1.95. The cheapest flat white I’ve had in quite a long time. However, it was more of a coffee with milk than a flat white. It was ok and better than it looked but it won’t be the coffee that I return for. 6.5/10 for “a decent coffee” but 5.5 for “a flat white”.
Food: The menu looks great, particularly where breakfasts and burgers are concerned. It is also cheaper than I expected.
Clientele: Largely studenty. The day I went was a Goldsmith’s open day and it was full of parents with their nervous-looking teenagers.
Lighting: The first time I have even contemplated a section on the lighting. But the creative lighting is a joy to behold and there’s more of it than is in my photo. Go there, if only to admire the lighting. For example, taps and wheels.
Decor: As with the lighting, this alone is reason to visit Chinwag. There is a lot of detail, from old newspapers under the glass table top of at least one table to a door covered with locks and handles. And the 10 Downing Street toilet door. It’s quirky, novel and makes for a really interesting and laid back environment.
Furniture: Heavy on the mismatched, drawers that can be opened and rummaged through, all kinds of seats and tables and a telephone box front door. Dreadful if you’re of the all-matching ilk but a joy if you like quirky vintage charm.
Staff: The staff seem to be friendly and very pleasant. Without sounding too shallow or gawpy though, I have never been somewhere that so many good looking people work. It all adds to the general aesthetics and all-round loveliness of the café and is something of a treat. In my defence, I have seen some similar comments on TripAdvisor!
Laptops, MacBooks, pushchairs: 0. Odds of laptops and MacBooks being present is fairly high though, but I also like to think this is notebook and pen territory too, which I will look out for next time when I’m not as wrong footed by the unexpected amount of things/people to admire!
Beards: I forgot to look, caught up in other more appealing distractions, but I suspect quite a few, it being Goldsmith’s catchment.
Loo: Behind 10 Downing Street. Clean, large and pleasant. Plenty to look at while waiting for anyone already in the loo, referring mainly to the lock and handle studded door.
WiFi: I’m not sure, but as I’ll be returning soon I’ll update accordingly.
Summary: The menus are stuck inside old books, taps are lights, everything feels interactive; the kind of place you wouldn’t mind waiting in for a delayed friend without the need to idly play with your mobile phone trying not to look pitiful and stood up. Going by the menu, I have high hopes for the food, most of which is prepared in the open kitchen area. It’s a lovely place to spend time, though I hope the barista skills improve. Bonus that it’s also not over-priced. This is the kind of place I would choose to go to for a comfort coffee and cake or meal. 8.5/10 but would be a bit more if the coffee were better.