Wild & Wood, London Wall

A lovely, creamy piccolo in a classic espresso cup, seen from above on an over-sized floral saucer.Wild & Wood is something of a pioneer in London’s speciality coffee scene. When it opened in 2008, the number speciality coffee shops in London could still be counted just using your fingers and toes. It’s also one of the first Coffee Spots I ever wrote about, Wild & Wood having been a regular haunt of mine in the years before I started the Coffee Spot. I also revisited it in April last year.

For seven years, Wild & Wood went about its business in its own uncompromising way from a small shop on New Oxford Street. Then, earlier this year, the building was cleared for redevelopment and Wild & Wood was left homeless, much to the consternation of its many fans and regular customers.

However, this particular story has a happy ending as, at the end of August, Wild & Wood reappeared on London Wall. Those who fear that the move will have ruined Wild & Wood needn’t worry: owners Bozena and Kit have pretty much transplanted Wild & Wood, keeping the same atmosphere and attitude that made it so popular.

I called in on Wild & Wood three weeks after it opened in its new home. See what I found after the gallery.

  • Wild & Wood in its new home on the south side of London Wall.
  • I guess if you're selling Cronuts, you don't need to say anything else on your A-board...
  • The award-winning Wild & Wood.
  • The view of the business end of Wild & Wood seen from just inside the door...
  • ... and the view of the seating seen from the counter.
  • A couple of the seating options to the right of the door as you come in.
  • All the original wooden fittings, seats and tables were brought over from the old shop.
  • One of the two booths at the back.
  • The whole back of the store is one long mirror.
  • All the old photos from the original Wild & Wood are here too.
  • See what I mean?
  • Another original Wild & Wood feature: the ascerbic signs.
  • Well, that's me (and Rigsby) told!
  • Wild & Wood always had great food/cake and its new incarnation is no different.
  • Just some of the cakes on display in the window.
  • I was particularly taken by this orange and polenta cake.
  • More of the cakes, which are mostly from Sally Clarke's and Cocomaya.
  • And here they are, the famous Cocomaya Cronuts.
  • More cakes!
  • Just for balance, there's a good range of savoury goodies as well.
  • The concise coffee menu.
  • The business end of Wild & Wood.
  • Some informative signs above the espresso machine.
  • Something else I really liked at the original Wild & Wood: the oversized, floral saucers.
  • I've saved the best to last: I was also given a cronut as a welcome back present!
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The new Wild & Wood, on London Wall’s southern side, is remarkably similar to the New Oxford Street original, the only differences dictated by the space/layout. In every other respect, it has everything that made me love the original so much. Most importantly, the wood (panelling, seats and tables, which all came from an old church) has made it from New Oxford Street. It took half a day to take the wood down, and six days to restore it to its glory on London Wall. It’s all here, plus two “new” units under the espresso machine.

If I’m honest, I prefer the new layout, if only because I can now get my knees under the tables! I suspect that the nook, the cosy little space off to the left of the door on New Oxford Street, will be missed the most, London Wall having a much simpler layout. However, all the original features are here. The cakes, of which there is a mouth-watering array, and a few savoury items, are still displayed on tiers of little shelves in the window. There’s still no counter, just the espresso machine and its grinders, in full view of the customers.  And it’s still full of wood. And pretty wild (“no decaf, no soy, def no syrups, God forbid Chai latte” says a sign above the espresso machine). Don’t come with expectations of anything except good coffee made with an uncompromising attitude in unique, idiosyncratic surroundings.

The original was slightly deeper than it was wide, counter at the back, seating on the right. London Wall’s about twice as wide as it is deep, with a more rectangular layout. As a result, the espresso machine, etc, rather than being at the back, are on the left, as is the cake. To the right, and along the back wall, is the seating, the same wooden pews, benches and stools as the original. It is, however, more comfortable and feels more spacious than I remember the original.

The door’s slightly off centre to the right. A four person table with two benches occupies the window to the right of the door. Next is a small shelf/table with two small seats against the right-hand wall. The bulk of the seating runs along the back wall: a small table with a benches either side of it in the right-hand corner, then two four-person (six if you squash up) tables with back-to-back pews as seats.

The walls are still adorned with photos of old film and TV stars, plus the occasional chalk-written sign. The only new feature is a mirror running the length of the back wall above the pews.

The coffee (espresso only, no decaf, although there are plans for filter) is still from Monmouth, served in the same mismatched crockery and over-sized saucers that I remember so well from the original (I wonder if that’s where Foxcroft & Ginger got the idea from?). I had a lovely, creamy piccolo, the coffee blending well with the milk.

I also had a Crodoughnut from Cocomaya. Layers of croissant-like bread-dough, wrapped in spirals around a heart of patisserie cream, topped in chocolate, it looks a little like a muffin. Pleasingly, it tastes as divine as you’d expect, although it’s very rich, not something you’d want to eat more than one of!

Don’t forget the original Wild & Wood Coffee Spot, which includes the original write-up and gallery from New Oxford Street. Wild & Wood was a runner-up for the 2015 Coffee Spot Award for Best Physical Space in its new London Wall setting.

http://wildandwoodcoffee.co.uk +44 (0)7525155957
Monday 07:00 – 17:00 Roaster Monmouth (espresso only)
Tuesday 07:00 – 17:00 Seating Tables (benches, pews and stools)
Wednesday 07:00 – 17:00 Food Breakfast, lunch, cake
Thursday 07:00 – 17:00 Service Order at counter
Friday 07:00 – 17:00 Cards Cash Only
Saturday 10:00 – 15:00 Wifi No
Sunday CLOSED Power No
Chain No Visits Original: 31st August 2012
Update: 14th September 2015

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8 thoughts on “Wild & Wood, London Wall

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