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21 August 2017

The Caffeine Chronicles: Attendant, Shoreditch

I reviewed the original branch of Attendant back in 2013, soon after the public-bathroom-turned-coffee-shop opened its doors in Fitzrovia and have been back a few times since then. There are now two further branches, one near Old Street in Shoreditch and the newest one on Leather Lane in Clerkenwell, which share the original's quirky décor and impeccable tiling, if not its convenient provenance.


I stumbled across the Shoreditch branch while running some errands at the weekend and called in for a coffee and a sweet treat. The café's interiors are much more verdant than the unassuming grey shopfront on Great Eastern Street might suggest. Dozens of leafy green pot plants hang from the ceiling and there is a living wall opposite the counter. The aforementioned tiling, which calls back to the Fitzrovia Attendant's origins, is a vibrant deep green.




I also approved of the diverse pendant lighting. Late on a Saturday afternoon, most of the tables, which run in two lines, parallel to the counter, were occupied. There are also several stools set up by the front window, but, lured by the foliage, I sat at one of the small tables opposite the coffee bar.



Attendant has an extensive food menu, divided into breakfast (8:00 to 11:30 am), lunch (11:30 am to 4:00 pm) and all-day brunch (8:00 am to 4:00 pm), which spans the two. The brunch menu looked particularly enticing, with options like smoked salmon and asparagus eggs Florentine, and rhubarb and cherry French toast. Even the avocado toast comes with maple bacon, basil, strawberry and chilli salsa. I had long since eaten lunch, but managed to find room for a flourless peanut butter cookie (£2.50), which tasted great. The other cookies and cakes — especially the salted caramel brownies — looked delicious too.



Coffee-wise, I was in a filter frame of mind and ordered a V60 pourover (£3.50). The featured coffee was a Guatemalan variety, which tasted lovely and fruity. I also approved of the serving vessel, which I dubbed a coffee goblet. I didn't have time to try a piccolo too but the espresso-based drinks being served to my fellow customers all looked very well prepared. When I first visited Attendant, they were using coffee from Caravan but they now roast their own — and very well, my experiences on Saturday and before suggest.


Although it was busy, the service was excellent: the baristas and servers were friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. Like the Fitzrovia original, Attendant's Shoreditch branch is a great place to spend, if not a penny, then several pounds and a happy hour or so.

Attendant. 74 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A (Tube: Old Street). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

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