Camden’s Parkway road is the link between the lush greenery and wealth of Regent’s Park and the grit and grime of Camden. At one end of the road is the high end York & Albany while at the other are the Italian restaurants that have been around for decades. Along its stretch is everything from classic pubs to new cafes. One of which is The Coffee Jar – recently named as one of the top ten small cafes in the UK by The Times.
Coffee – 4/5
Again, we’re presented with the excellent Monmouth coffee. And at a decently priced £2.20 per cup. Or should I say per paper cup as, sadly, all their coffee, whether you’re drinking in or out, comes in their own branded paper cups. That taste of paper on lips is not a pleasant one and definitely distracts from the subtle flavours of the coffee.
Atmosphere – 3/5
While this is a perfectly pleasant place, it’s just that. It’s very small with just a couple of seats by the window and some stools along the side. They have, however, added a bit of life to the requisite white walls and wood with some interesting window decorations.
Food – 3/4
I was once told that small venues can’t do good food – I don’t believe that to be true and neither do the owners of Coffee Jar. A good selection of sandwiches and melts and an array of baked goods (including an excellent custard tart I tried) are enough to keep you happy.
Service – 3/3
Really friendly and happy service from the owners who had a bit of banter with the locals, who were surprisingly old Camden market stall owners, supping their espresso.
Extras – 1/3
You can’t really do much with a cafe this size. You can buy the Monmouth coffee by the bag but that’s about it.
Summary – 14/20
Small but – almost – perfectly formed. A splash of colour or personality inside and some proper mugs and this would be hard to beat.