Review: The Library Cafe

Having spent quite a number of hours in the local library recently to complete my Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Leadership, I was intrigued and excited to see ‘The Library Cafe‘ open up.

The owner, Urvashi Roe, is a former contestant from the second series of the Great British Bake Off and hopes to offer a unique experience, compared to the many chain establishments in Enfield. What attracted me to this lovely cafe was their location and effort to source local products for their frequently changeable menu. The cafe sources food from the Enfield Veg Company based at Forty Hall Farm, Wildes Cheese in Tottenham, Holtwhites bakery on Chase Side and stock popcorn for kids from Oli & Zoe’s.

The menu changes regularly, however usually features a couple of lovely sandwich options served with a side salad, a couple of salad options, a homemade soup served with bread from Holtwhites bakery, jacket potatoes and the most delicious baked goodies. Some of the ones that Archie and I have tried are the Lime and Coconut cake with strawberries and creme fraiche, spiced carrot cake with creme fraiche and grated carrots and a wonderfully zesty lemon bar. Last week a Dandelion and Feta tart was featured on the menu, I can guarantee no other coffee shop in Enfield has that on their menu! I hope I get to taste it soon.

For those with babies or toddlers, they provide homemade purees (including banana, sweet potato, apple & peas) and toddler options inspired by books in the library such as ‘Zorro’ (nachos, tomatoes and vegetable crudités), ‘Robinson Crusoe’ (prawns, vegetable crudités, bread and butter), ‘Three Little Pigs’ (ham, carrots and a slice of Holtwhites multigrain bread) and ‘Mr Moon’ (pancake, grated cheese and tomato). The main menu ‘Robinson Crusoe’ is smoked salmon, cottage cheese, thyme & lemon served on Holtwhites Bakery Pain de Campagne. I haven’t tried any savoury dishes yet, but they look lush! I thought the special red and white menu for St. George’s Day was a lovely touch with tomato and spinach soup with a creme fraiche cross and a roasted red pepper, cottage cheese, thyme and salad leaves as sandwich of the day.

Recently, they have held a couple of events which I think is a lovely addition. I haven’t managed to attend any as yet, but hope that they will hold more events and I will manage to attend one of the wine tasting events over the warmer months. On the 16th April they had wine tasting run by Sustainable Wines UK, offering a few special canapés and sharing platters on the menu, including mega blinis served with salad leaves from Forty Hall Farm, with toppings such as:
– mozzarella, chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes and herbs
– pea and sunflower puree, feta and herbs
– cottage cheese, roasted red pepper and chilli flakes

This event coincided with a reading in the library that day by Ben Aaronovitch and they provided an inspired menu featuring ‘Rivers of London’, an open sandwich of cottage cheese, tomato, beetroot, olive oil and thyme on a slice of Holtwhites multigrain with a side salad. In addition they had a salad called ‘Mama Thames’ inspired by the Nigerian character in the book; spiced jollof rice with roasted tomatoes and red peppers with either roasted chicken or smoked tofu. On the 18th April they held a celebration of tea where the lovely people behind Comins Tea House brought along loose tea leaves to taste, I actually went there on this day with Archie but we were there just after it had finished as they were packing up.

Plum & poppyseed cake with a cafe latte outside The Library Cafe
Plum & poppyseed cake with a cafe latte outside The Library Cafe

Of note they have a loyalty card scheme for every 9 hot drinks they 10th is free.

I wish Urvashi and her family every success with her venture and will continue to make regular visits to try some savoury menu options, to keep sampling the delicious baked goods and to enjoy the warm summer months sitting down with one of the best made cups of coffee in the borough whilst Archie runs free on the library green, enjoying a picnic. Make sure you pay a visit to this wonderful cafe, you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Upcoming events:
– 30th May 2015 at 12 noon: Wine tasting to celebrate English Wine Week

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