It was five years ago that I first ventured to Walthamstow to seek out Wood St Coffee, at that point in its second incarnation on Orford Road in the heart of Walthamstow Village. Effectively a counter in a shop, Wood St shared the space with two other businesses, opening four days a week. Mind you, this was a step-up from the original, a Sunday pop-up in Wood Street Market which started in 2013 before moving to Orford Road in February 2014. However, in the autumn of 2014, not too long after my visit, Wood St Coffee moved again, this time to a permanent home, still in Walthamstow at the Blackhorse Workshop. And ever since, I’ve been promising to return…
When I finally made it, I found a thriving coffee shop, with plenty of seating inside and out. These days, the coffee’s roasted on-site, with a seasonal single-origin plus decaf on espresso, and a daily batch-brew option, the beans selected from the three or four single-origins in stock at the time. However, it’s not just coffee, with Wood St serving an excellent brunch menu at weekends and more traditional breakfast/lunch menus during the week, backed up by a small cake selection.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Wood St Coffee is in Blackhorse Workshop, just off Blackhorse Lane in northeast Walthamstow. This is a largely residential area on the workshop side of the street, with more commercial activity on the other side, where Wood St has been joined by the likes of Square Mile and Minor Figures. Access is via a pedestrian alley, Sutherland Path, from Blackhorse Lane, or, if you’re driving, there’s vehicular access from Sutherland Road on the other side.
Either way, head into the yard, where you’ll find Wood St at the back on the left. There’s a slightly raised, gravel area out front which contains several six-person picnic tables, most of which are long and thin, but with one larger one thrown in for good measure. At the front, furthest from Wood St, six tables line up, side-by-side, with three lined up end-to-end at the back. The two on the left are long and thin, while the one on the right is double length and wider. A large gazebo covers the left-most of the front tables, providing shelter from the elements (rain for my visit!). Meanwhile, in a container to the left, in front of the outdoor seating area, is Wood St’s on-site roastery, although it’s only open by invitation.
There’s plenty more seating inside, accessible through red-framed glass double doors slightly offset to the right (ignore the door on the right-hand side of the building: this leads to some offices). Inside, Wood St occupies a rectangular space, slightly deeper than it is wide, with a high, sloping ceiling that gets higher the further back you go. It also has two rows of translucent panels running front to back, making for a very bright space, despite the paucity of windows. The counter fronts a semi-open kitchen in the back right-hand corner, with the bulk of the seating off to the left, leaving a relatively clear run from the doors to the counter, where you order and pay.
A row of seven square, two-person tables lines a box-bench against the left-hand wall, each table with a long, low stool. Next to that, in the front half of the space, just to the left of the door, a row of three two-person tables runs front-to-back with the same long, low stools on one side and neat, triangular stools on the other.
Two small two-person bars with high, plastic stools, stand against the front wall, one either side of the door. Finally, there’s an old, three-person sofa against the right-hand wall in front of the counter, with the menu chalked up on a blackboard above it.
I started with a lovely, smooth flat white made with the seasonal espresso, a Brazilian single-origin. This was the perfect start to my day, which was swiftly followed by breakfast from the weekend brunch menu. I kept it simple, selecting the poached eggs on sourdough toast, two nicely poached eggs on a single, large slice of toasted sourdough. If you are there during the week, there’s a more traditional breakfast menu, with a separate lunch menu offering wraps, toasties and salads.
Before I left, I had a quick tour of the roastery, which you can read all about its own Meet the Roaster feature, where I also give a little more of the history of Wood St and its owners, Gareth and Clare.
December 2019: Wood St Coffee was a runner-up for the 2019 Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
|BLACKHORSE WORKSHOP • 1-2 SUTHERLAND ROAD PATH • WALTHAMSTOW • E17 6BX|
|www.woodstcoffee.co.uk||+44 (0) 20 3005 3231|
|Monday||08:00 – 16:30||Roaster||Wood St (espresso + batch brew)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 16:30||Seating||Tables, Sofa, Bars; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 16:30||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 16:30||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 16:30||Cards||Yes|
|Saturday||09:30 – 17:30||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||10:00 – 16:00||Power||No|
|Chain||No||Visits||27th July 2019|
Wood St has left a legacy in Walthamstow. Whether by chance or design, speciality coffee seems to grow in its footsteps. Not long after Wood St left Orford Road to move to the Blackhorse Workshop, Froth & Rind moved into the space next door, while back where it all started, on Wood Street itself, Dudley’s opened in March 2019, just a stone’s throw from the market.
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