The latest Beany Green, the fifth to date, is in the newly-refurbished Broadgate Circle, just northwest of Liverpool Street Station. It’s a lovely setting, perhaps Beany’s most ambitious yet, but goes back to Beany’s roots, replacing a hole-in-the-wall takeout operation that, for the last couple of years, had served coffee to Liverpool Street from just across the way from the new location.
At first sight, the new Beany’s quite small, just large enough for four tables and a couple of window bars. However, just like the original Daisy Green, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. For starters, if you skip the front door and go around to the right, you’ll find two dedicated takeaway windows which are an excellent idea. Even better, if you keep on going, you’ll come out on the Beany Balcony, overlooking the interior of Broadgate Circle. On a sunny day, there’s no better spot!
All the usual Beany features are here: super-friendly staff, excellent espresso-based coffee from The Roasting Party, fresh flowers on the tables, an obsession with bananas and deckchairs, quirky artwork from Shuby and innovative food. Add to that beer, wine and cocktails and you’re on to a real winner!
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
The new Beany Green joins my regular haunt at Paddington, the original Daisy Green near Marble Arch, the container at the foot of Hungerford Bridge on the South Bank and the one I’ve not yet set foot in at Regent Place near Euston. From the outside, the Beany madness is readily apparent: there’s the word “Beany” emblazoned in light-bulbs in the window, plus banana-themed deckchairs outside in all weathers. There are a couple of more conventional tables to the right of the door, while behind the deckchairs to the left, an impossible mural by Shuby provides a glorious backdrop.
Stepping inside, the whole right-hand side of the interior is taken up with the counter, starting immediately to your right. Just as at Paddington and Daisy Green, the food comes first; breakfast in the morning, giving way to lunch later on. At the other end of the counter is the till, followed, a little surprisingly, by the cake.
There’s no espresso machine on this side of the counter, which, if I’m honest, is something I miss: no more chatting with the barista as he (or more likely, she) makes your coffee. There’s also nowhere to hang around while waiting for your coffee, which, given Beany’s large takeaway volume, is somewhat surprising. Until, that is, you look across the counter, where, against the far wall, you see the bright-yellow, four-group La Marzocco (called Dolly), sitting neatly between two small windows. These are twin takeaway windows, which means that if you just want to get your coffee and go, you don’t need to come inside Beany Green at all. Instead, head around to the right and join the (shortest) queue.
This is an excellent idea since it frees the interior of the long, snaking queues and clusters of people waiting for their coffee that can clog up the likes of the Paddington branch. Instead, the interior is relatively uncluttered and relaxed, with all the seating opposite the counter. There’s not much seating, however, just four, small square tables, a window bar to the left of the doors and another on the left at the back. This is slightly longer and extends alongside the kitchen, which is opposite the counter, behind the left-hand wall, accessed via a pair of saloon-style doors.
However, if you sit inside, you’re missing out on the best bit. There’s another set of doors, directly opposite the ones you entered through, which take you out onto the Beany Balcony. This occupies the inner curve of Broadgate Circle, overlooking the restaurants below. Out here you’ll find the beer bath, concrete benches/tables and more conventional two-person tables. There are also some four/six-person tables on wheels which can be moved about to catch the sun (or the shade, as the fancy takes you). These have padded stools. Padded, I tell you! Why doesn’t Paddington have padded stools? And, of course, there are deckchairs!
The coffee and food are very similar to the other Beany Greens, with the highlight being The Roasting Party’s very smooth, sweet espresso which goes perfectly in a flat white. However, Broadgate also has an alcohol licence and is open well into the evenings, when you can get cocktails (I had a very fine espresso martini at the launch party), plus a range of wine and the aforementioned beer.
March 2016: Beany Green now does bottomless brunches. I took fellow coffee-blogger, the Award-winning Daniel (Cups of Coffee London), food-blogger Jess (EastingEast) and all-round blogger, Bex (Double Skinny Macchiato) there for brunch on Easter Sunday. You can see what Jess and Bex made of it on their blogs, while I’ve finally got around to writing up my experience as well. Dan, pull your finger out!
|BROADGATE CIRCLE • LONDON • EC2M 2QS|
|http://daisygreenfood.com||+44 (0) 207 3878546|
|Monday||06:00 – 21:00||Roaster||The Roasting Party (espresso + bulk-brew)|
|Tuesday||06:00 – 21:00||Seating||Tables, Bars; Tables, Deckchairs (outside)|
|Wednesday||06:00 – 23:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||06:00 – 23:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||06:00 – 23:00||Cards||Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||09:00 – 17:00||Wifi||Free (with registration)|
|Sunday||09:00 – 17:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||Local||Visits||1st May 2015|
Disclaimer: In the second half of 2015, Beany Green launched a bond to fund its future expansion. I invested in this bond, and, like all bond-holders, receive free coffee as a reward. This Coffee Spot was published before the bond was launched. However, the brunch I had in March 2016 was a bond-holder reward.
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