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.
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.
|47 LONDON WALL • LONDON • EC2M 5TE|
|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|
|Chain||No||Visits||Original: 31st August 2012|
|Update: 14th September 2015|
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