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.
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|
|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)|
|Chain||No||Visits||24th April 2021|
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