Foxcroft & Ginger

Foxcroft & Ginger's rhubarb and custard muffin, with a slice removed to reveal the liquid custard in the centre.What’s there not to like about Foxcroft & Ginger? I was introduced to it by a friend on Twitter and, although it took me a little while, it’s now become a firm favourite. The storefront, on Berwick Street in Soho, is, I confess, one I could easily walk past (and it’s not often that my café radar lets me down) and I find the upstairs a little chaotic. However, downstairs in the basement is the real deal.

Regular readers might not know about my fondness for basements, largely because there aren’t that many cafés with decent basements. It can best be described as “unfinished”, with bare walls and exposed power conduits and air conditioning ducts. It’s “L” shaped with a collection of oddly-shaped tables around the walls. In fact, nothing much matches in Foxcroft & Ginger, which is one of its many charms.

The coffee, as one might expect, is very good, with espresso-based drinks supplemented by V60, cafetiere and Aeropress options and with beans from Has Bean and Caravan. However, best of all are the cakes, and, specifically, the muffins, which might be the best in the whole wide world, all freshly baked on site.

September 2016: I’ve heard on the grapevine that Foxcroft & Ginger’s Soho branch has closed, although there’s no official word as to why… Very sad news.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Foxcroft & Ginger on Berwick Street, Soho. What's that in the window...?
  • Yes, it's a vaulting horse. Converted into a coffee bar. And sadly not there anymore :-(
  • There's also a mangle, now used as a table/umbrella stand. Every cafe should have one!
  • The counter's at the back, with a row of two-seater tables on the right & stairs on the left.
  • There's also an isolated table on the left, next to the stairs down to the basement.
  • The decor can best be described as 'unfinished' with bare brick walls & uncovered conduits.
  • The stairs promise much and lead to a wonderful basement.
  • Typical decor from the basement, although the Union Jack's now gone.
  • Mst of the tables are like this, solid wood and various (square) sizes.
  • There used to be a handy little bar at the bottom of the stairs, but that's gone too.
  • The seating used to be as mix-and-match as the tables...
  • ... with cushions scattered around the place.
  • Howeve, things are a lot less choatic down in the basement these days.
  • An up-to-date view of the basement from the far corner.
  • Back upstairs, let me introduce you to the cake!
  • The famous blueberry and custard muffin...
  • ... although if you don't like blueberries, you could try apple and custard instead...
  • There's also hot food, although these have now been replaced by pizza ovens!
  • And, of course, coffee...
  • If espresso is not to your liking, there's the brew bar. I believe the bottle of wine is for serving by the glass, not for thirsty baristas!
  • The coffee, by the way, was from Has Bean & Caravan: now it's from The Roasting Party.
  • A neat way of ensuring the correct order gets to the right table.
  • My espresso. Although mismatching, my cup and saucer went well together.
  • My flat white in probably my favourite cup. The spillage was all my own work!
  • Another flat white on my second visit. Again, cup and saucer don't match.
  • The Finca La Fany from Caravan: pretty cup, excellent coffee.
  • My flat white takes in the view of the basement on my first visit.
  • The orange and almond cube cake, a weird combination, but surprisingly nice.
  • The famous blueberry & custard muffin. Normally I'd just bite into it, but this meritted a knife.
  • Real chunks of fruit and a liquid custard heart.
  • I was promised rhubarb & custard if I returned the following week. I did. I was rewarded!
  • Did I mention that the muffins are served warm? No? Well, they are!
  • I didn't sample the food on my first visit, but on subsequent trips, I've eaten a lot of pizza!
  • A goat’s cheese, fig, kale pesto, mascarpone & marinated beetroot pizza. Interesting...
  • And my favourite,  herbed mushroom and egg, with truffle oil, tomato sauce & mozzarella.
  • Want to find out more about Foxcroft & Ginger? Click on the picture for an update from 2015.
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Foxcroft & Ginger has a narrow storefront on Berwick Street, but is much bigger than it looks. Although there are tables upstairs, it’s quite cramped and suffers from the constant stream of people coming and going and queuing up at the counter (which is at the back). The real treat, however, is downstairs in the basement where there’s space for about 30 people at variously-sized wooden tables.

I’ve been there three times, always in the basement. Although it’s constantly busy, I’ve always got a seat. It can get loud, especially with the background music, but at no point was it too loud. When I was there with a friend (Hayley, the aforementioned tweeter) the background noise never made conversation difficult (my usual test). The music, by the way, is excellent (ie it matched my taste!): very 80s, with The Clash, The Smiths, The Jam and The Specials to name a few.

Foxcroft & Ginger serves Has Bean coffee, which regular readers will know is a little fruitier than I like my espresso. That said, the espresso was one of the least-fruity Has Beans I’ve had and the blend Foxcroft & Ginger uses goes very well with milk to make a great flat white. I also tried a single origin through a V60 Filter, plumping for the Finca La Fany. There were three options, all from Caravan, with the Finca described by the barista as “most coffee-like” (interesting description…). It was excellent: no subtle hints or fruity flavours, just straight down the line coffee, smooth and strong (you know you’re onto a winner when it *doesn’t* look like tea).

If coffee’s not your thing, there’s also hot chocolate, a range of tea and wine by the glass/bottle. The drinks (except the wine) come in a variety of mismatched items of crockery. You have to admire the level of dedication this takes, although I did notice a couple of people with white cups on white saucers (!) and was told by the staff that the mismatched crockery is running out…

As well as being a coffee spot, Foxcroft & Ginger describes itself (quite accurately) as a laid-back, all-day dining spot. I didn’t try the food during my original visits, but since then I’ve become an irregular visitor and have made my way through much of the pizza menu. You can see the menus on the Foxcroft & Ginger website and see what I made of it during my visit in January 2015.

However, I’ve saved the best until last. The cake!

Downstairs, in the basement, is a door to the kitchen, where the food is made and the bread baked. Most important of all, this is where the cakes come from. On my first visit, not knowing any better, I had an orange and almond cube cake, a weird combination, but surprisingly nice. However, on my second visit, having been alerted by another blogger, Jammatology, I went for a blueberry and custard muffin. I was so impressed that I came back for a third visit when I was promised that there would be rhubarb and custard muffins. And there were.

These are quite possibly the best muffins ever. They have real chunks of fruit in them, a liquid custard centre and, best of all, are served warm. It’s like a whole pudding in a cake! If nothing else, you have to try one. Or two. Or maybe three…

See what I made of Foxcroft & Ginger on my return visit in January 2015.

3 BERWICK STREET • SOHO • LONDON • W1F 0DR
www.foxcroftandginger.com +44 (0)  20 7287 5890
Monday 08:00 –19:00 Roaster Has Bean + Guests (now The Roasting Party)
Tuesday 08:00 – 22:00 Seating Tables, small bar
Wednesday 08:00 – 22:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sandwiches, Cake
Thursday 08:00 – 22:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:00 – 22:00 Cards Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 09:00 – 22:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 09:00 – 19:00 Power Limited
Chain No Visits Original: 2nd February, 21st, 28th March 2013
Update: 22nd January 2015

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22 thoughts on “Foxcroft & Ginger

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  2. Went here last night and were told we cannot go downstairs for a coffee because after 7pm, it is only for those having dinner. We had a look downstairs and it was empty. What a waste of space? The cakes we also on the stale side.

    • Hi John,

      They seem to have been doing that a while. I guess that they’re trying to encourage people to come out to them for dinner. Was the upstairs really crowded then?

      Re the cakes: usually when I get there that time there aren’t any cakes left!

      Brian.

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