I have may have mentioned this once or twice (okay, a LOT), but my lovely ‘hood is Archway. When I moved here 8 years ago it was a bit of a cultural wasteland; we had a Woolworths though (much missed) and of course the epic gastropub that is the St John’s Tavern. But a year or so ago things started….well, changing. Becoming better. We sadly lost Woolworths (to Iceland, which is pretty horrific) but we got a Williamsburg-style café on the site of a former greasy spoon, which sits at the corner of Junction Road and Hargrave. It’s called the The Bread and Bean and it is just very cute (their sign includes a picture of a little round owl. I mean, what could be cuter? Unless they made it a meerkat. Actually, if you’re reading this, B&B proprietors, what about making it a meerkat?!). And cool. I mean, I’ve spotted Giles Coren there, for pity’s sake.

It’s got big windows (generally where people sit on their own with laptops, like actual creative types!) and another seating area down at the back, and the crockery, cutlery and condiment holders are all artfully eclectic. It’s a good spot for brunch (if you can get a table, not easy at the weekend) but D and I were heading there on a quiet Tuesday so it was fine. The menu does all sorts of things like all day breakfast dishes (Eggs Benedict, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, porridge, pancakes with bacon etc) but I went for a BLT, which was just what I needed.

In the same year B&B opened we also got a Costa Coffee, a Subway and a Greggs, so it’s not all amazing. But still – progress! Of sorts!