Monday, 22 April 2013

FreeState Coffee - Southampton Row WC1

I am a big fan of Sicilian Avenue in Holborn - a rather whimsical pedestrianised strip with an ornate Italianate vibe.  Whilst I have always loved the way it looked, there was never anywhere I would necessarily seek out to eat or drink in - but that has now changed with the arrival of FreeState Coffee.  I understand that it is the New Row crew who have launched FreeState - which is good news as the former is a lovely, friendly little gem of a cafe so that augers well for FreeState.  I trundled along (a lovely walk BTW from my office in St Giles to Holborn) last week and had a rather pleasant lunch.  The space itself still feels a bit unformed  - I know they are going for the rustic vibe but there was minimal signage outside and inside also felt like it was still a work in progress.  Having said that it was all pretty
 chilled - a nice big space with plenty of seating including some stools at the "brew bar".  I sat in the big window, enjoying the (long awaited) spring sunshine and staring at this rather lovely building across the road. I ordered a flat white - made with Union beans and actually pretty good.  I like my coffee strong and this one had a punch.  I wouldn't say Union beans are my favourite (that would be Caravan) but I do like them and I really like their company ethos so I am always happy to drink a Union coffee and this one was no exception.  I also had a Cuban sandwich which is basically pork, ham, cheese, pickles and mustard.  It was also pretty good - and I happily munched away, alternately staring at the building across the road (imagining turning it into my house) and staring at the slightly awkward body language of the man and woman sharing a communal table nearby.  Ah fun times when you are dining solo.  I will definitely be back to FreeState - I do want to try the brew bar as I drink WAY too much milk due to my flat white addiction.  Plus I am always happy to sashay (and I DO sashay people) down Sicilian Avenue.