The Table (COVID-19)

The open double doors welcome you to The Table in Walsall.The Table, which opened at the start of April, can lay claim to the title of Walsall’s first (and, for now, only) speciality coffee shop. The brainchild of Abby and James, it was set up as a community hub with the backing of the Walsall Community Church. Occupying part of a lovely, old building on the corner of Lower Hall Lane and Caldmore Road, it’s a few minutes’ walk from the train station in the centre of town. It’s also a great alternative to the motorway services, being under 10 minutes from both Junctions 9 and 10 on the M6, with plentiful (cheap) parking nearby.

For now, the spacious interior (The Table goes a long way back) is off-limits until the next set of COVID-19 restrictions are lifted (hopefully in May). However, there’s plenty of outside seating, and, with its location on a south-facing corner, it catches the sun. When it comes to coffee, The Table uses Bristol’s Odd Kin Coffee Roasters, with Walsall’s own Coffee by the Casuals on filter, although there are plans to add more guests in due course. There’s also Kokoa Collection hot chocolate, a selection of tea and a range of cakes if you’re hungry.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • On a sunny corner in the centre of Walsall stands this interesting building.
  • It looks even more imposing from this side of the street.
  • It's home to The Table, Walsall's first (and, for now, only) speciality coffee shop.
  • The Table is on the corner with Caldmore Road, but the front is on Lower Hall Lane.
  • There are plenty of tables outside, including this one right on the corner, and this one...
  • ... to the right of the door. The box holds blankets which you're welcome to use...
  • ... as explained by this handy set of instructions (which you'll find on each table).
  • Although the indoor seating is off-limits, you have to go in to order.
  • The door leads to this little hallway, which brings you out...
  • ... by the side of the counter, where the cakes live, except that it was at the end...
  • ... of the day, so they'd all been eaten. You get a good view of the business end...
  • ... of the counter from here, which is even better when the staff aren't in the way!
  • Time to follow the arrows, which lead you along...
  • ... the front of the counter (x is where you collect takeaway coffee), then back again...
  • ... along the other side of this planter, keeping you separate from the counter.
  • The counter in more detail.
  • You order at the till on the right...
  • ... where you find the menu on the wall behind...
  • ... while the all important espresso machine is at the end of the counter on the left.
  • There are various retail selections, including coffee (front corner of the counter)...
  • ... soft drinks (chiller cabinet by the till)...
  • ... and hot chocolate and coffee kit (shelf on the wall beyond the counter).
  • There's even a selection of cards and stationary in the corner as you come in.
  • While we're here, let's take a look at the main seating area, which looks gorgeous.
  • I particularly like this three-piece suite...
  • ... although I suspect that I'd end up at one of these tables.
  • The internal window in the wall above the tables looks into another section of The Table...
  • ... which is set up for laptop users, with a third area beyond that!
  • Back in the main room, let's admire the pictures on the wall.
  • Down to business. It's always fun watching espresso extract, although this wasn't mine.
  • Instead it was going in this iced latte. I decided to try the batch-brew filter option...
  • ... which I had in my Frank Green Ceramic cup, which I took outside in the sun.
  • I paired this with a slice of Bakewell tart...
  • ... and bought a bag of this Kenyan coffee from Coffee by Casuals to take home with me.
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The Table is on the spacious corner of Lower Hall Lane and Caldmore Road, occupying part of an interesting building which comes with a long history. Originally a pub of ill-repute, it was taken over by a local church group in the early 1990s, after which it fulfilled a number of community-based roles. The Vine Trust, which owns the building, offered the front part, which had become vacant at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to The Table, so it now carries on this proud tradition of community service in its role as a community hub.

The front of The Table, which faces onto Lower Hall Lane, is painted a distinctive green. This stops at the corner, where you’ll find a tall chimney block facing the corner itself, although there are plans to extend the green paint scheme around the corner and down the side of The Table. Carrying on around, you’ll get some idea of the size of the interior by how far the building extends down Caldmore Road.

Returning to the front, the entrance is in the middle of the wall, opening onto a small hallway which leads to the left. Counter-intuitively, this deposits you in the front, right-hand corner of the main room of The Table (the right-hand side of the building is occupied by the kitchen). The seating, which is currently out of use, is on the left, while the counter, is on the right, although you enter by coming down the side of the counter. Here you’re greeted by the cakes before following the arrows on the floor, which take you around to your right to the front of the counter where you order. You then follow the arrows to the end of the counter before doubling back on yourself to leave, a waist-high set of planters separating you from counter as you go. Don’t worry about your coffee, by the way, as this will be brought to you once it’s ready.

As well as the main room, which looks delightful, there’s a second room beyond the end of the counter, which is set up for laptop use, while beyond that is a third room which will be available for meetings, etc. For now, though, you’ll need to head outside if you want a seat.

The Table has plenty of outside seating, with space on the corner for a lot more. A pair of standard picnic-style tables, which get some shade in the afternoon, flank the door, while there’s a third on a cobbled area on the corner itself. The space between this and the chimney is occupied by a pair of low wooden reels, repurposed as coffee tables, complete with five low stools. These can seat a single group, or be split as required.

The Table uses a Colombian single-origin from Odd Kin Coffee Roasters as the house espresso, although there is an aspiration for a second grinder, allowing a guest espresso to be offered. This is joined by a daily batch-brew filter option, although there are plans for V60 pour-overs to allow for an expanded range of guest roasters/beans.

For now, The Table has two options on batch-brew, a washed Kenyan Rukira from Coffee by the Casuals and a washed Ethiopian Telila from Odd Kin. Given the choice, I would have had the Kenyan, but being batch-brew, you have whatever is on that day. In my case, it was the Ethiopian, so I consoled myself by buying a bag of the Kenyan to take home.

While The Table is currently serving in takeaway cups, there are a limited number of HuskeeCups for sit-in customers, although I had my filter coffee in my Frank Green Ceramic. This proved to be a smooth, well-balanced brew, which was just as good cold as it was hot. I paired this with an excellent Bakewell tart, which had a lovely shortcrust pastry base and a sweet (but not sickly) combination of sponge and jam inside.

33 LOWER HALL LANE • WALSALL • WS1 1RR
www.instagram.com/thetablewalsall
Monday CLOSED Roaster Odd Kin (espresso) + Odd Kin & Guests (batch-brew)
Tuesday 08:30 – 15:00 Seating Tables (outside)
Wednesday 08:30 – 15:00 Food Cakes
Thursday 08:30 – 15:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:30 – 15:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 10:00 – 16:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday CLOSED Power N/A
Chain No Visits 24th April 2021

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