On Caledonian Road, around the corner from King’s Cross Station, stands a new name in a familiar spot. In the premises once occupied by Pattern Coffee, House of Morocco has been open for six weeks, offering excellent espresso-based coffee from Terrone & Co, Moroccan-themed lunches and a wide range of Moroccan merchandise, including pottery and textiles.
House of Morocco started life as a homeware store before taking over what was Patten Coffee, although it would be wrong to cast it as Pattern’s successor. The layout is similar, a long, thin bright space with high-ceilings and windows front and back. The counter is still on the right and the seating mostly down the left, but that’s about it as far as similarities with Pattern goes, House of Morocco very much being its own place.
Providing an interesting fusion of western, third-wave coffee shop and Moroccan culture, it’s a relaxing, friendly spot which can get busy, particularly during the lunchtime when I met up with fellow blogger, Bex of Double Skinny Macchiato. The seating, like the décor, can best be described as eclectic, with much of the Moroccan merchandise doubling up as decoration in a manner reminiscent of Oriberry Coffee in Hanoi.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
House of Morocco stands on the right-hand side of Caledonian Road heading north from King’s Cross. One of several spots close to the station, it’s not quite as convenient as the sadly-missed Lanark Coffee at Dash (which still stands empty, a sad indictment of the landlords), but with a longish wait, you can definitely pop over. It’s a small spot, one of many independents on the ground floor of a long row of three-storey terraced buildings.
In the case of House of Morocco, the door’s on the left, with a three-quarters height window on the right. You can sit outside on the busy road where a small table projects from under the window, a low stool to either side. Alternatively, head inside, where there’s a wide four-person window-bar which would have nicely caught the afternoon sun, had there been any!
The interior is dominated by the counter on the right, which is set back from the window. The cakes and food come first, facing front, while the espresso machine and its grinder are along the long, left-hand side after the till. Impressively, given how little space there is behind the counter, all the food is prepared here as well.
If you don’t fancy sitting in the window, there’s an interesting choice of seating, starting with a two-person bar against the wall just beyond the door, complete with two high chairs. Next comes a two-person table which projects from the wall above a small fireplace, seating provided by a pair of stools. The most interesting option comes next, with a narrow table projecting from the wall, flanked by what felt like a pair of old cinema seats, but reupholstered in Moroccan-style textiles. Be careful when you sit down since the seats fold down and, if you’re not paying attention, they can fold back up when you sit on them as Bex found out!
Beyond the cinema seats is a solitary armchair, then another projecting table, this time with benches before you reach the window at the back. This has a padded bench under the window, extending along both walls to form a U-shape, centred on a low coffee table. Finally, there’s a deep two-person bar in a little niche on the right between the end of the counter and the toilet which is much nicer than I’ve made it sound!
House of Morocco has a decent breakfast and toast/sandwich-based menu, simultaneously very western in its offerings, but Moroccan-influenced in its flavours, as well as loaded with vegetarian choices. I had the Harrisa Hummus wrap with halloumi, spinach, sundried tomatoes and olives, along with a side-salad. This made for a very tasty, filling lunch. Bex, meanwhile, had a ham toasty…
When it comes to coffee, House of Morocco has turned its back on any Moroccan influence (although if I remember correctly, Moroccan coffee culture is largely adopted from the French, although I could be wrong) and gone Italian/third-wave with an espresso-based menu supplied by old friends Terrone & Co.
I had a lovely cortado, which was commendably short and had a rich, chocolately taste, the milk in perfect harmony with the coffee. Bex, meanwhile, had a macchiato, although we were too busy catching up on her recent trip to Australia and New Zealand for me to ask what she made of it!
|82 CALEDONIAN ROAD • LONDON • N1 9DN|
|www.houseofmorocco.co.uk||+44 (0) 20 7837 1981|
|Monday||08:00 – 19:00||Roaster||Terrone (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 19:00||Seating||Tables, Benches, Bars|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 19:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 19:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 19:00||Cards||Amex, Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||08:00 – 19:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Chain||No||Visits||15th November 2017|
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