Tea and cake is pretty much always a winner in my books. It is even more of a winner when the cafe is a quiet place, the prices are decent, the portions are generous and the staff have a smile on their face.
That in short is why I love Molicero a Portuguese cafe on Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon. The cafe is understated and quaint to appearance with a varied and manageable menu as well as a few Portuguese items, specific brands and products, available to purchase from three or four shelves. A couple of TVs are present as well and they have Portuguese channels on with English subtitles underneath.
It is one of the many cafes locally that allows you to pay for your items at the end of your visit making it a lot easier to just start with a drink and then get a drink with some cafe the next time; it also means if they get charged per debit/credit card transaction they are able to keep their fees to a minimum and there is less impact to price of the items they sell.
People can also ring in and make specific requests for sandwiches or similar to be collected around lunchtime; great for the many small businesses locally as it means only one person ventures out instead of all the staff staggered over a few hours. Or you can pop in spontaneously and get certain food and drink items to go making it perfect for those in a rush to get to work after dropping kids off at the local primary school or those desperate to get home after a shift at work.
I have gone into Molicero a few times now. Once I had tea there with a large group of people where tables got moved around and the staff seemed happy at such a gathering after the lunchtime rush on a Saturday. Another time I went in after work for a catch up and had cool juice and a hefty slice of orange cake (pictured) as a nice little pick-me-up.
It has simple food but does it well and the atmosphere really gives it an enjoyable boost. Whilst the owners are proud to be Portuguese and show that in the shop it has an environment that is welcome to everybody whether they are local to the area or just staying nearby for a couple of days on business.