Foxy name. Central location. Monmouth coffee. There's a new kid on the coffee block.
Foxcroft & Ginger opened last week and identifies itself as a "deli and espresso bar". Set in the middle of the scungy Berwick Street fruit market (just down the road from Flat White), this place has officially earned the rare GD merit stamp which ranks it with the select few of her esteemed London coffee shop big guns (Fernandez & Wells, Milk Bar, Flat White, Monmouth, Lantana).
I've now been back twice, just to make sure. Afterall, recommending a morning coffee spot is a serious game - there's no margin for error.
The first time I sampled the goods was a couple of days after opening, and I was seriously early (before they had even put the sign up, but they kindly let me in anyway) - the machine had not yet warmed up, the counter was not yet stocked. I couldn't be sure if the Monmouth coffee would always be paid its due respect. Further investigation was mentally scheduled in.
This morning, I can confirm. Hallelujah! Caffeinophiles - we've found another one! We have another cafe in London which makes supremely great coffee. First sip, slightly bitter, as often happens at the Monmouth mothership itself. But then it mellowed and rounded into a sublime, rich and smooth flat white. Thank you.
Having just sampled the whole pig at St John last night, I had no room for the tasty delights on offer - but they are secondary in any case to the service of a good morning coffee. (At the moment, the coffee is also good value, relative to its local competition, at less than £2). There's hardy looking French toast with ham and cheese or a sweet banana option - both were being sizzled up on the spot this morning. There's pastries, scrambled egg muffins (with salmon or prosciutto), chelsea buns - all quality, locally sourced produce (some from Borough Market), and of the nature that if you like Fernandez, you'll like it here. As I rifled through magazines, I was offered half a blueberry muffin to sample - moist and delish.
Service is super friendly (the owners are lovely) and they have a serious, hand built coffee machine on board. F&G still has that intimate feel of a much loved new venture, being lovingly nurtured by its parents. They're picking up the furniture tonight to add extra seating downstairs. They're going to need it.
So, it is with a heavy heart that I post this review - because I know it will only contribute to making it that little bit more difficult to nab that window seat and sip a perfect flat white in future.
Foxcroft and Ginger, 3 Berwick St, Soho, London W1F 0DR