My partner and I love a trip to Café Adagio on Lower Addiscombe Road here in Croydon. It is our very most local independent cafe and happens to be run by a really love guy. In fact my partner likes it so much he sometimes goes there without me to sit and read his book!
There is fierce competition in Addiscombe for the title of the best coffee house or café and often several of them grab awards in local independent publications but also get serious honourable mentions in the likes of Timeout and similar London wide sources.
So, if you want to succeed around here you need some serious tasty food, a fantastic attitude amongst all the front of house team and to know how to make an absolutely banging brew. Café Adagio not only hits the brief with all those three essential basics but they also bring an incredible unique selling point of having live music and events whilst exhibiting exquisite artwork on the walls (that is also available to buy)! It describes itself as a “suburban music cafe” but feels very much like a little community hub and especially when the front of house owner remembers so many visitors by name and is always sure to make time to have a little chat.
We aren’t just talking your bog standard latte or perhaps a bit of a fancier powder of instant cocoa we are talking incredible combinations that have been carefully curated to provide the perfect flavour and aesthetic balance; my partner had a wonderful looking coconilla latte, which I informed him was almost certainly coconut and vanilla, and I opted for a mexican hot chocolate that had the nicest little punch of spices mixed into the deep and rich chocolate mixture.
And in typical blogger style, or perhaps it is just a millennial thing that the news hasn’t picked up on yet, I adore the decor and that is certainly helped by the hefty marble tables that are a more natural shade with gold detailing. The changing artwork always stands out against the red walls and the lighting is the perfect level of ambience to be able to feel able to chat, relax and just clear your mind a little. Everything comes together to feel homely, cosy and like a place you really want to spend some time; it is so different to our pale blue washed rented walls that it really helps to bring warmth and joy to my life. Isn’t it funny how a cafe decor can feel more homely and refreshing than where you actually live?
They don’t do a huge selection of proper food in the cafe but they do soups, specials that include savoury options and platters to go alongside a variety of cakes (that include vegan, gluten-free and other allergy/nutritional choice options) that are so incredibly soft, bouncy, fresh and full of flavour.
The food is well done and wonderfully presented whilst also being a further hit of that homely feel. On the day I had a potato and leek soup my partner opted for a thick slice of deliciously freshly made pie (and who doesn’t love pie!?). It is clear that they take pride in every single item that they produce and as a result it does take a little longer than it might in another cafe but if it was speedy it wouldn’t really fit the vibe that the rest of the cafe and experience provides.
For me this is a spot that really helps to warm me heart and allows my mind to focus without being so entirely zen that the minute I step out I fall into a panicked daze as I walk back along Lower Addiscombe Road to return home. It pours out happiness, comfort and care and genuinely goes that step to fit into the community and to bring all us grumpy sleep-deprived Addiscombe dwellers more than just another coffee shop.
One of my local friends that wants to chat over coffee (or in my case hot chocolate or delicious tea) then hit me up because I’m always looking for reasons to sit in Café Adagio! If you happen to be local and have visited the cafe why not share your thoughts on your experiences in the comments below?