Fix 126

A flat white in a glass from Fix 126, sporting particularly impressive latte art.The sister branch to Fix Coffee, a long-standing Shoreditch coffee shop which first opened its doors in 2009, Fix 126 arrived not long after on Curtain Road. Serving a bespoke espresso blend plus a single-origin V60 pour-over (both from Climpson and Sons), Fix 126, like its roaster, flies a little bit under the radar, quietly doing its own thing, while, over the years, more illustrious names have popped up on neighbouring streets.

A bright, airy space, with exposed-brick pillars between the numerous windows and a lovely, wooden floor, it has the “hipster coffee shop look” nailed, except Fix was doing it several years before it was trendy.  The layout is simple and uncluttered, with communal tables in the centre, window-bars around two of the four walls and a cosy little nook at the back.

That I made it to Fix 126 at all is down to fellow blogger, Jess, of EastingEast, who invited me to a pre-London Coffee Festival breakfast, a proposition I agreed to with unnecessary haste, before regretting as I dragged myself out of bed on Saturday morning an hour earlier than was strictly necessary. However, all was forgiven when I discovered what a gem Fix 126 is.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Fix 126, the second branch of Fix Coffee on 126 Curtain Road...
  • ... although the name is much more prominent on the approach along Rivington Street.
  • The whole ensemble.
  • Stepping inside, this is the view from just inside the door...
  • ... while this is the view looking back towards the door.
  • The seating starts to the right of the door with this four-person window-bar...
  • ... and continues on the other side with two more four-person window-bars.
  • There's another four-person window-bar further along the Rivington Street side.
  • If you perfer tables, there are three long, communal tables in the middle of the room...
  • ... while right at the back, up a few steps, is this little nook, with its padded benches.
  • One of the long communal tables in the centre of the room.
  • Meanwhile, the counter takes up the right-hand side of the space.
  • Although there are a lot of windows, Fix still has its fair share of awesome light-fittings.
  • These beauties hang from the ceiiling above the counter.
  • As well as being an informative sign, this is also a work of art for sale. Hope no-one steals it!
  • Down to business. The counter is at the back on the right...
  • ... while the chiller/display cabinet is at the front on the right.
  • The counter, seen from the chiller cabinet. Jess, meanwhile, hides behind the grinder.
  • The menu is conveniently located on the back wall at the end of the counter...
  • ... while the cakes and pastries are placed temptingly on the front of the counter.
  • The far end of the counter is the preserve of the espresso machine...
  • ... with the coffee (and tea) on the shelves behind it.
  • I started my day in customary fashion with a flat white, although this beauty came in a glass.
  • There was also breakfast: mine (foreground) and Jess's (background).
  • This strange-looking beast is what happens when you toast a vegetable brioche!
  • Jess, meanwhile, played it safe with an almond croissant.
  • We were both keen to try the pour-over, which is made at the far end of the counter.
  • I'm not sure I've woken up properly... I think I'm seeing double!
  • The barista employed a rapid and circular pouring technique...
  • ... which worked really well.
  • The resulting coffee, which Jess and I shared. Very fine it was too!
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On London’s Curtain Road, one street over from Origin’s outpost on Charlotte Road, Fix is pleasingly located at number 126, on the corner with Rivington Street. There are generous windows overlooking both streets, the front (looking out onto Curtain Road) in particular being almost all glass, while Rivington Street is not far behind in the glass-to-wall ratio. The Curtain Road side also has an awning to shade the benches which flank the door from the afternoon sun, although I suspect it gets more use in keeping the rain off, something it did admirably well on the morning I was there!

Windows notwithstanding, the exterior’s painted black, making an interesting contrast to the bright, spacious interior, where black’s only found on the ceiling and on half of the back wall. Elsewhere, exposed brick and wood abound, along with an interesting blue-and-white geometric-patterned wallpaper. Meanwhile, two slim, white pillars support the ceiling beams.

The layout’s simple and effective. Four-person bars line the windows, while there are three long, communal tables (each with seven chairs), running parallel to the windows in the centre/left of the roughly square space. At the back, on the left-hand side, a small flight of steps leads to a small, cosy, nook. With padded benches around its three walls, it’s the ideal spot for a quiet tête-à-tête. Finally, on the right-hand side, there’s a chiller cabinet (holding sandwiches and soft drinks), followed by the counter, which occupies most of the right-hand wall.

The coffee, except for the decaf from Caravan, is from Climpson and Sons, a small detail which I’ll take up with Henrik when I see him next… Fix has a bespoke espresso blend, equal parts Brazilian and Peruvian, resulting in a dark, full-bodied roast. Jess already had a long black on the go when I arrived, while I indulged in a flat white, which arrived sporting an impressively intricate piece of latte-art. The coffee stood out in both forms, the flat white in particular making a pleasant change from the sweet flat whites that I’m more used to.

Fix 126 also offers pour-over through the V60, with a single-origin bean that changes on a monthly basis. During our visit, this was an Ethiopian and, keen to try it, but with the knowledge that we had a full day at the London Coffee Festival ahead of us, we split a small V60 between us.

I still struggle with my V60 technique, so was intrigued to watch the barista at work. She used an almost continuous pouring technique, with a long, swirling pour, something I’ve not seen very often. However, the outcome was excellent, a delicate, floral cup, but at the same time with plenty of body.

Since this was technically a pre-festival breakfast (and I hadn’t eaten) I had a toasted mozzarella, sun-blushed tomato and chargrilled vegetable brioche. Not having had a toasted brioche before, I was somewhat surprised by its outward appearance (think Scotch pancake/drop scone): however, it tasted just fine and must have done the trick since I managed to go the next eight hours without eating anything…

Jess, meanwhile, cheated and had two things for breakfast, an almond croissant and a rather yummy (and, she claims, energising) smoothie. You can also read Jess’s take on Fix over on EastingEast.

126 CURTAIN ROAD • LONDON • EC2A 3PJ
www.fix-coffee.co.uk +44 (0) 20 7033 9555
Monday 07:00 – 19:00 Roaster Climpson & Sons (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 07:00 – 19:00 Seating Tables, Window-bars
Wednesday 07:00 – 19:00 Food Sandwiches, Cake
Thursday 07:00 – 19:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 07:00 – 19:00 Cards Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 08:00 – 19:00 Wifi Free with login
Sunday 08:00 – 19:00 Power Yes
Chain Local Visits 9th April 2016

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3 thoughts on “Fix 126

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