31 May 2017

The Caffeine Chronicles: Treves & Hyde

UPDATE. Sadly, Treves & Hyde is now permanently closed, although there's another coffee shop on the site.

Over the past few weeks, I've been trying to catch up on my London to-do list — a Sisyphean task if ever there was one — and I took advantage of a free bank-holiday Monday to become acquainted with Treves & Hyde. Set over two floors, the Aldgate café and restaurant has already built up a strong reputation for excellent coffee and delicious food. Oh, and there's the small matter of a certain pink staircase... But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I could tell from the Treves & Hyde website that the ground-floor 'café' and first-floor 'restaurant' were separate entities, but with the breakfast sitting running from 7:00 to 10:00 am and brunch starting at 10:30 am at the weekend, I wasn't certain what would await me at 10:15 on a bank holiday Monday. Everything worked out perfectly, however, because brunch was starting in the upstairs dining area in 15 minutes, which gave me time to enjoy a coffee downstairs.

There were two coffee on offer — the Volcano house roast and a guest from Round Hill Roastery. I ordered a piccolo (£2.60) with the Volcano espresso, and it was prepared by Treves & Hyde's head of coffee, James Wise, whom I recently watched competing at the Coffee Masters at the London Coffee Festival (he won, incidentally). The piccolo was really excellent — smooth, well-balanced and, of course, beautifully prepared.

If you don't have time for a longer meal, the downstairs café is a good option for grabbing a coffee and a pastry or cake (the pastéis de nata looked particularly great) in an attractively designed setting. With plenty of geometric patterns, marble table tops and millennial pink accents, the décor is very mid-century Scandinavian with a modern twist. I particularly liked the mini 'carrels' for two by the windows. And then there's the staircase that has captured the heart of every Instagrammer venturing into the E1 postcode area.

By the time I had finished my coffee, the brunch service had become so I ascended the heavenly stairway to the first floor where grey and mustard were the primary accent colours. Perhaps because of the weather (grey and muggy) or the relatively early hour, there weren't any other diners; I'm sure it's a lot livelier at peak brunch time on Saturdays. Undeterred, I made a start with the menu, which was organised into 'starters' (mueslis and granolas), more breakfasty brunch dishes and more lunchy brunch dishes. Although some of the latter sounded creative and delicious, I was still in breakfast mode and so stuck to the upper section of the menu.

One of the baristas had recommended the pancakes to me but I usually prefer savoury brunch dishes and so didn't think I'd take her up on her suggestion. In the end, though, I decided to give them a go: buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup and a side of maple-smoked streaky bacon (£9.90; other sides, including 'boozy mango' or avocado, are also available). As my piccolo counter for the day had already reached three, I thought I might try a juice, but there was only orange juice available, which isn't my favourite.

I then tried to order a piccolo, but upstairs they only serve espresso and batch-brew filter coffee — so if you've come for a piccolo or flat white fix, remember to allow time to go to the coffee bar downstairs first. In the end, I ordered an espresso; in all the excitement, I forgot to ask which roaster it was from, but it was fruity and really quite delicious (my bill said 'Colonna' — possibly it was even made with one of Colonna's capsules).

Before long, my pancakes arrived and they were outstanding. I'm not normally one to get very excited about pancakes, but these were so light, fluffy and moist, while still being slightly crispy on the outside. The bacon was excellent too and my only slight complaint was that the maple syrup portion was rather small (probably for the best given that the pancake portion was rather large).

Whether it's for a morning coffee and pastry, express lunch, brunch or cocktail, Treves & Hyde has got you covered. The quality of the food and coffee, the service and, of course, the décor were all superb and I am hopeful that I'll be able to persuade my friends that it should be our next girls' brunch club destination (I don't think I'll have to try too hard).

Treves & Hyde. 15/17 Leman Street, London, E1 8EN (Tube: Aldgate East). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bex,

    I finally made it to Treves & Hyde, although only for coffee. Strangely, I was less taken by the pink staircase than I was by the Mavam espresso machine... Each to their own ;-)