While out and about a couple of weeks ago we happened to find ourselves in Highbury Barn, a short section of road between Highbury Fields and Blackstock Road, a selection of shops, butchers, restaurants, a Post Office even a Fromagerie and a pub. Plus Highness Coffee shop. Having time and needing a coffee we popped in.
Highness is a little place at the end of the row of shops etc, it looks inviting and full of yummy cakes and sandwiches all laid out for you to choose at the counter and in the window, the staff are pleasant and welcoming, but they do seem to think that spending less than £10 is a strange idea, so they don’t take cards for less and asking where a cash point is just gets some strange looks and suggestions that you spend more money. Which isn’t too hard, the food isn’t cheap! We ordered the usual (a Mocha and a Hot Chocolate) and took a seat at an old Singer sewing machine table in the upstairs section, after a bit of a wait the drinks finally arrived. Descent size big red mugs though, that’s always a bonus and as usual if you don’t remember to ask for ‘extra hot’ then you get lukewarm instead and we did forget.But that being said this was good coffee.
There doesn’t seem to be too much space downstairs, a spiral staircase leads you up to a mezzanine level filled with mismatched chairs and tables and few quirky objects, a number of random books and oddities. The big old clock on the wall above he door seems to be telling you that coffee is timeless, or maybe that there is always time for another cup. A good selection of food and drinks are listed on the detailed blackboards overhead. And they had good wifi also.
So that is how you do a good coffee shop, Well worth a visit, just take cash if you only want a coffee, as the local cashpoint hardly ever works!
But should you you find yourself in Highbury Fields, having been playing tennis or walking the dog and fancy a coffee, but can’t be bothered to walk from the park to the Barn and Highness Coffee, then you might be tempted try the ‘Oasis in the Park cafe’ next to the tennis courts.
We found ourselves in this situation the other day and did just that. Along with Bruffin, we ordered two Hot Chocolates and a Mocha and received, two cups of watery milk with some sugar and a weak, weak coffee .This place could do a good trade in Goswell Road or Clerkenwell where they seem to like this kind of horrible, tasteless excuses for drinks.If this is an oasis, then we think that we would rather die of thirst than have to drink this!Truly do yourself a favour, walk the couple hundreds of metres and get a good coffee, rather than waste your money.