Crosstown Doughnuts has been a staple of several London coffee shops, as well as being available direct from Crosstown at various London markets. Then, Crosstown opened its own coffee shop, in Soho. And then another. And another. And, earlier this year, the fourth opened, in the new Nova development north of Victoria Station.
If you know Crosstown Doughnuts, you know what to expect. If you don’t, you’re in for a treat. However, that’s not all. As well as doughnuts, there’s coffee, and not just any old coffee. Crosstown serves Caravan, the ubiquitous Market Blend in the main grinder with a seasonal guest, always a single-origin, and also from Caravan, in the second.
The Victoria branch is a pod, a rather space-age looking contraption with outdoor seating. Inside, there are two small corner bars, each with two stools. Not really designed for customers who linger, it’s actually a really neat spot.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Crosstown Doughnuts is in the new Nova development, midway along the central, pedestrianised passage running between Nova’s east and west wings. It faces Victoria (underground) Station, the mainline station just beyond that. It also keeps good company: Notes is just a little further along on the right, while just past that, around the corner to the left, is Timmy Green.
Crosstown occupies a lozenge-shaped purple pod, vertical metal ridges running from top to bottom. A single window occupies most of the lower half, with glass double doors in the centre. Add to that a generous skylight and you have a fairly bright interior. The counter takes up most of the space, running the full width at the back, while there’s seating in the front corners, each equipped with a quarter-circular bar and a pair of Crosstown Doughnut stools (the seat of each stool is the Crosstown Doughnut logo).
There’s also outside seating, with two black-topped white boxes, one on either side, delineating Crosstown’s space. Next to these are a pair of black, folding tables, one pair on each side. Each table has two short, black plastic stools.
Although not designed for customers to linger, it’s actually a good spot to while away half an hour. While it’s open to the elements outside, tall buildings provide shade and some measure of protection, plus there’s no traffic at all. Inside, it’s done out in black and white, with the Crosstown logo in middle of the ceiling. Although there’s less seating inside, it’s a far more relaxed spot than the Soho branch, with a lot more space.
The counter has the doughnuts to the right, a two-group La Marzocco Strada to the left and the till in centre. All the usual (Crosstown) flavours (I counted 14) are there, with the doughnuts baked freshly each morning in Crosstown’s Vauxhall bakery. Once they’re gone, that’s it until the next day. If you don’t fancy a whole doughnut, then there are also mini-doughnuts in two flavours by the till.
I normally have a cinnamon scroll, but in the interests of research, went for the crème brûlée doughnut instead. This was excellent, with a crunchy sugar-coated top, chewy (in a good way) dough, and an extremely rich, messy crème brûlée filling.
When it came to the coffee, I went for the Ecuadorian single-origin on the second grinder, with my barista having no hesitation in recommending it in milk. The only drawback with Crosstown is that it is takeaway cups only, so don’t forget to bring your own.
I went for a flat white and was pleased to find that although my KeepCup is an 8oz one, the barista still served me a 6oz flat white, which I appreciate. Too many baristas can’t resist filling it to the top. The resulting drink was very fine, the Ecuador indeed going well in milk. Anyone expecting more detailed taste descriptions should note I made the rookie mistake of eating my doughnut after the first sip, which rather overwhelmed my palate.
|14 SIR SIMON MILTON SQUARE • LONDON • SW1E 5DJ
|08:00 – 20:00
|Caravan (espresso only)
|08:00 – 20:00
|Stools (inside), Tables (outside)
|08:00 – 20:00
|08:00 – 21:00
|08:00 – 21:00
|Amex, Mastercard, Visa. No Cash
|10:00 – 20:00
|Free (with login)
|10:00 – 18:00
|21st August 2017
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