19 April 2014

The Caffeine Chronicles: Cafe Viva Review

I had hoped to spend this sunny Easter Saturday in Brighton, but my plans were foiled by the ever useless BT Openreach failing to turn up promptly to fix my internets — or, indeed, at all. Although there wasn't time for me to head to the south coast, I could at least venture further into South London, more specifically to Cafe Viva, an independent coffee shop near Rye Lane.

I had tried to visit Cafe Viva last year but they were closed for a refurb. I'm glad I made it back, because the small but perfectly formed café was a particularly lovely place for a coffee break this afternoon. The tables are cheered with vases of bright daffodils and colourful local art adorns the walls.

In the absence of geeky brewing methods on the menu, I stuck to my standard macchiato (£2) and it arrived in a gorgeous vintage cup and saucer. This is probably the most stylish macchiato I've had all year! The coffee, which is from Volcano, was rich and smooth and made the perfect accompaniment to a slice of banana bread (£2.50).

Cafe Viva also serves sandwiches and light lunch options (between £3 and £5), which is worth remembering for times when I make it down to Peckham before tea time.

In the café, I picked up a hand-drawn map illustrating some of the many interesting shops and cafés that populate Bellenden Road and the adjoining roads (including Cafe Viva's home, Choumert Road). I popped into Quaint & Belle, a cute gift and home store, and Melange, a fancy chocolate shop, and made a mental note to return to Anderson & Co (another cute cafe) and The Begging Bowl (a Thai restaurant). Yes, it sure is a lovely corner of Peckham.

Cafe Viva. 44 Choumert Road, London, SE15 4SE (Peckham Rye Overground). Website. Twitter.

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