It's time for tea
Artisan: 203 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, London, SW15 6SG, 0208 617 3477
£ 10-15 per person
Artisan is a great little independent café in Putney that celebrated their 1st birthday this week (Happy Birthday!). Now, before I start on this review, I should add a disclaimer/declaration. Artisan had a bit of a party to celebrate and yours truly was invited. But, I had been there about 4 times before, so I think that I can still give a relatively unbiased view of their customer service from an anonymous point of view. Although, admittedly, the party was a good place to find out other regulars’ views (for which, thanks in advance). I won’t name them as I didn’t ask if I could.
Anyway, serious bit over.
Located just off Putney High Street, a few minutes’ walk from Putney Station, this place is popular with locals whether it’s mum’s on the way home from the school run; a handy place to work from home; but most importantly, for the coffee. The coffee is quality, clearly lovingly prepared. Those in the know say that the cappuccino has the perfect ratio of espresso, milk and froth. I’m an Americano kinda woman, and I have to say, it’s amazing coffee, if I managed to get there earlier in the day, I might have more than one. They do seem to treat coffee making as an art form with impressive (very shiny red) coffee machine to boot.
As well as coffees, there are a selection of teas and herbal teas. As someone of Indian decent, they get extra points for the masala tea (whisper it so my granny doesn’t hear), because they give you the milk separately. I happily drank the whole pot. You often find some places will give you some warm milk with spices in it (very few of which granny would have used) which might have caught sight of a teabag once.
Whether you want breakfast, lunch, early dinner or just a snackie treat you’re catered for here. They have toasted bagels; muffins; pastries; savoury tarts; soups; a selection of sandwiches; and some cakes and baked yummies.
I recently had a butternut squash, (possibly Morrocan inspired) salad which was really nice, fresh flavours and just the right size.
The pea, mint and courgette tart was nice too, satisfying and tasty, although Mary Berry might say there was a bit of a soggy bottom on it.
The Frosted Earl Grey and Apple Cake was just right, light and not overly sweet, especially the frosting. I’d definitely have that again.
The best thing I’ve had here is the lemon, rosemary and olive oil cake. It’s just heavenly. Again, sweet enough to satisfy a sweet tooth but not to induce type 2 diabetes.
Service is always friendly, making you feel welcome and valued, ideal for a leisurely lunch. I’m told some baristas even remember regulars’ preferred coffees. I love the idea of a ‘spin the wheel’ twist (pun not intended) on the loyalty card scheme. A completed card earns you a spin on the wheel and you can get a ‘prize’. If I was going to say one thing, it’d be that the music is sometimes just a touch too loud, it would be easier to have a conversation or do some work if it was down just a notch. People there are very friendly though, so I’m sure if I just said it was loud, they’d happily turn it down a bit. I’m just doing that very British thing of not being able to make a fuss in person (so possibly being passive aggressive and blogging about it instead!).
A year in, they’re branching out to evening events, recently hosting a soap making event for example. I forsee this place becoming a real coming together place for the local community. I’m looking forward to my next visit and sampling some more of the menu! Those cakes always look tempting!