This quaint spot on Marchmont Street is a delightful little deli that serves up a varied selection of light lunches teamed with a succinct list of drinks. Located in Bloomsbury this café fits its surroundings nicely, so it's little wonder there is what seems like a constant stream of customers.
Fork sits on Marchmont Street which is rather handily surrounded by numerous leafy parks and squares – they’re great options should Fork be full. It’s a breath of fresh air on a street dominated by betting shops and less-than-appetising takeaways. From the outside you are greeted with a vintage-looking façade, decorated with wood and nostalgic green tiling. There is a handful of small tables outside which see plenty of use, especially when the sun is out. Inside, it feels more than a little minimal with exposed brick walls and untreated wood mixing with low hanging lights, all with a unique bulb or shade. It’s cosy, though, and the tables are each decorated with a cactus to add some originality – and ambiguity - to proceedings.
The deli does limit itself to customers due to its small size - during lunch hours you’re guaranteed to queue, and you'd better be prepared to pounce in the unlikely event that a table becomes available. The staff are all friendly and accommodating, though they don’t all seem hugely well-versed: simple enquiries can be met with open mouthed confusion. The deli also has free wi-fi, which is great, but which can mean people linger… some will drink their coffee at a glacial pace (the table is not your desk, pal). Other little touches impress, such as the complimentary newspapers and magazines, as well as the wooden slabs for plates, which add to laid back, casual feel.
Fork changes its menu quite regularly and one noticeable part of their food is how colourful and fresh it all looks. There’s a healthy choice of rolls, sandwiches, salads, soups and tarts, all of which are freshened up by new choices every day. Fork stocks a large amount of artisan sandwiches, with highlights including a simple but very good beef, horseradish and salad ciabatta (£4.60) and a salmon bap with lime and chilli mousse and cucumber (£4.60). You can also choose one of the vibrant, fresh salads (again prepared daily); the wild rice and goat’s cheese (£3.80 small - £4.80 large) is particularly good, with mushroom, hazelnuts and parsley dressing fine bedfellows.
Some incredible tartlets are on appetising view in the glass cabinet too. The caramelised balsamic beetroot and goat’s cheese tart is the stand out option (£4), though others look every bit as good. For the colder lunch days then the ever changing soup du jour is a good option - the mushroom and fennel (£3.30) especially. If you are just looking for something sweet to go with your coffee then there’s a cracking range of cakes and pastries including banana loaf, carrot cake and Danish pastries (£2.60 each) as well as gluten-free options.
Coffee and teas do a roaring trade here, and given that the coffee is all Monmouth and the tea from Teapigs, it’s little wonder. The fridge is fully stocked with various San Pellegrinos, Coke, fresh orange juice and ‘posh pop’ from Breckland Orchard, with inviting flavours such as cherry & plum, ginger beer with chilli, and cream soda with rhubarb.
The Last Word
This refreshing deli adds a slice of tranquillity to Bloomsbury’s slightly manic nature, and customers can (almost) be forgiven for whiling away the hours having set up camp inside. An impressive independent that clearly cares about its customers.