It's a bit of a faff to get to Hackney from Bermondsey, and I often forget how lovely it is to amble along the canal there on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Last weekend, I went to a preview screening of The Overnight at the cinema at the Stratford Westfield, and afterwards, a quick search of the interwebs for a new café to try in the area took me to Counter Café in Hackney Wick, a quiet 20-minute walk from the mega-mall. Nice Carly Simon quote on the A-board too!
Counter is located within Stour Space, an airy art gallery and exhibition space in a red-brick, canal-side building. The weekend brunch menu looked rather epic — I'd already eaten, so I'll definitely have to visit again to try the eggs Benedict or the bacon sarnie with home-made relish, and egg and/or bacon (because why choose?).
Instead, I settled for a white chocolate and hazelnut cookie (£1.50) and a coffee. They roast their own coffee and sell bags of their Secret Stash and Sugar Daddy single-origin filter beans. There weren't any hand-brewed filter coffees on offer, so I ordered a flat white (£2.50) and went to take a seat outside. There are a number of canal-side tables on the pontoon out back and I managed to nab one by the canal, where I could watch the boats and bikes dawdle and whiz by, respectively.
The table I chose also seemed to be one of the wobbliest, and just seconds after taking a picture of my coffee, a rather energetic customer stomped by and some of the coffee spilled into the saucer. This happened again, leaving about as much coffee in the saucer, and the barista kindly offered to make me another. This time, I decided that a macchiato was safer and I was able to prevent any further spills. The coffee was very good: rich, smooth and chocolatey — I'm not sure which espresso blend they were serving, but it went perfectly with my cookie.
Counter also has some covered and indoor seating areas for those days when the weather isn't quite so summery, but wherever you sit, you will probably like the view. And you'll probably like the café; it's already on my list of favourites.
Counter Café. 7 Roach Road, London, E3 2PA (Hackney Wick Overground). Website. Twitter.