The Park Theatre is a theatre, near a Park (Finsbury Park, to be specific). It also happens to have a cafe inside it.
The venue is a theatre by night, making it quite a peculiar place to stop by. The service area is on the ground floor, with seating available across the 3 floors that make up the lobby outside the stage areas: 1 on small area on the ground floor, 1 below in the basement, and the largest seating area above.
Unlike many venues we have visited recently, the Park Theatre comes with music: in this case, some classic (and in my view view dated) pop and rock tunes that David was more enamoured with than I.
The furniture was an eclectic mixture of what appeared to be recycled furniture. Parts of it were shabbier than others, but all of it shared a rickety feeling that made me worry it would buckle under my (not particularly heavy) weight.
The ordering process
David went to get the order. The staff, he said, were very friendly; singing and dancing theatrically as they resolved our coffee and cake demands. How very appropriate, given our surroundings.
The lattes arrives in black and white tin mugs. A novel aesthetic in today’s “your coffee must come in a glass without a handle” presentational phase. The lattes were very bubbly; that’s normally a sign that the coffee or milk were not quite as fresh as one might like, but the proof would be in the tasting.
The coffee tasted very sweet: so no noticeable affect on the flavour of the coffee.
In my view this apparent latte was not a latte at all, however. There was too little air in the milk to class as a latte. So little in fact, that it reminded me of my nan’s favourite hot drink treat - the “milky coffee”: a spoon of cheap instant coffee and microwaved milk, like you might get in a greasy spoon in Plymouth market. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but it isn’t a latte.
The carrot cake was, as it should be, topped with butter icing and walnuts. It was “moist but not wet”, David claimed, “so good, in sum”. My red velvet cake was very moist - perhaps too moist, to the point where I wasn’t sure if it was undercooked. This was overcome by the incredibly sugary icing, which I enjoyed immensely.
Overall, we give the experience a thumbs up. The shabby-chic vibe and overall ambience made up for the the quality of the coffee and cake alone. But, coffee aficionados, if you’re expecting world class coffee, you’re better off elsewhere.