Every once in a while I encounter a place that’s not really a restaurant, but still deserves at least a mention here. In this case, we were walking through London, on our way to meet up with some folks for Vietnamese food in Shoreditch, but were running early, and decided to stop and have a coffee. Doing a quick search of the area, several people recommended The Bridge Coffee House, so we decided to check it out.
It’s a pretty small location, wedged in next to the railroad bridge. But it looked interesting, so we walked in. Once inside The Bridge, however, it’s an immediate change in character. The downstairs is an odd stylistic treat, with a blend of “British Pub” and a bit of “Old School Coffee House”. It is filled with a giant coffee bar, a very elaborate coffee maker, and all sorts of bric-a-brac and retro gadgets. Quite frankly, it’s a rather cool place to hang out.
We chatted with the very friendly staff, and ordered our coffee. They then insisted that order some baklava, demonstrating the quality by giving us a sample. It was tasty, so we ordered some of that as well. After getting our coffees, we were about to sit down and drink when the guy told us “You know, we have more seating upstairs.”
Since I rather liked the ambiance downstairs, I said “oh, this is nice, we’ll drink here.” He responded, more firmly, like I was truly missing out on an opportunity, “No, you should really go upstairs.” So I walked upstairs to check it out… So, you walk through the downstairs, through the back in to a service area, and up a slightly dingy and very narrow staircase, to emerge into…
…Le Moulin Rouge. Really, it’s like stepping into a 19th century Bohemian living room, full of plush chairs, tables, curtains, and all sorts of random artwork and bric a brac. It’s like what you would get if you took an unruly Hollywood set designer and told them you wanted a “Truly baroque living room. Really, just go to town on this.” So, I ended up sitting at a nice chair that would have looked rather nice on the set of The Addams Family, enjoying my coffee and baklava.
How were the coffee and baklava, by the way? Both were quite pleasing. But I was so captivated by the funky decor, I even forgot to get a picture.