The Haberdashery merges restaurant food, cafe culture, homely surroundings and a deli to boot in a bid to become Crouch End’s one-stop dining solution.
The Haberdashery looks as though it could always have been right there on a quaint street in Crouch End’s bohemian town centre. Like the area itself, The Haberdashery is a little bit of everything – not quite a full blown restaurant but a serious step up from your average cafe, sandwiches and soups sit happily alongside Scandinavian meatballs and lasagna whilst freshly squeezed juices share menu space with beers, wines and cocktails. There’s a bit of deli-come-bakery thrown into the mix as well with a range of breads, pastries, cakes and sweets available to buy along with the quintessential jute bag.
Wooden floors, panelled walls and pastel shades give The Haberdashery an instant tranquility. A musical backdrop of tinkling old vinyls transforms the space from a cafe into a homely kitchen and from somewhere to eat into somewhere to linger. Mismatched, vintage crockery, and tasteful yet random wall adornments add interest and quirkiness whilst a display table of the day’s cakes and another of breads adds a personal touch whilst emphasising the all important ethos of fresh, homemade and natural which resonates throughout. Super friendly staff up for a chat and an utterly laid back atmosphere make The Haberdashery something of a local - a refuge from the cold streets of North London or simply a spot to soak up the sun in the courtyard over a pot of tea and a good book.
As is fitting of such a versatile venue, there a few menu options available including separate weekday and weekend breakfast menus and a dedicated kids’ menu. The main daytime menu is varied in itself featuring soups, salads and sandwiches on the savoury side along with heartier, more restaurant style offerings such as Scandinavian meatballs (£8.50), which come in a classically sweet and creamy gravy with an inventive beetroot and red cabbage coleslaw and a deliciously peppery dill mash – perfectly executed and a great example of the food on offer. The dishes are uncomplicated and ingredients-led but just that all important one step away from the norm. Their rustic bread pots, which come with soups and salads, exemplify this. Being served in a flowerpot isn’t the only quirk – the daily changing flavours are worth looking out for. A chive and lemongrass loaf is distinctive but just subtle enough - an inspiration for any avid bakers. The soups of the day (£4.50, for a generous bowlful plus a rustic bread pot and butter) are similarly exciting and another smacking example of how homemade and hearty the food is with simple yet original combinations such as leek, celery and honey suggesting a culinary alchemist at work.
Salads (all £5.95) and sandwiches (£4.00 - £4.95) follow the simple but often inventive ingredient combinations route and are homemade from the bread to the chutney. Red mullet wrapped in streaky bacon with salsa verde and new potatoes (£9.50) alternatively is a mere garnish away from fine dining but The Haberdashery wouldn’t have it any other way. Though it would be unfair to ignore the great skill involved in managing to completely crisp the bacon yet only just cook the fish, what really shines through is the ingredients themselves - peppery olive oil, earthy potatoes and completely fresh mullet – which is undoubtedly sustainable.
Few must leave The Haberdashery without having had a piece of cake. Though there’s so much else on offer, they sit like the proverbial doggie in the window encouraging temptation. Flavours and styles vary (all £3.50) but lean towards the traditional. Nice in themselves, they combine with a pot of tea, the tinkling music and tranquil setting to offer an un-proportionally greater satisfaction.
The Haberdashery offers everything from wines, cocktails and organic beers to juices, teas, coffees and hot chocolate – and all in abundant variations. Loose leaf tea comes by the pot (£1.80 per pot) in about 20 different varieties spanning fresh ginger and mint teas to Earl Grey, Orange Pekoe, Assam and good old English Breakfast. Italian hot chocolate comes in standard and white varieties (both £2) and all the usual coffees are present (from £1.40 - £2.50).
The juices are a bit of a house speciality made with any chosen combination of fresh apple, carrot, beetroot, celery and ginger to order (£3.50). The interesting offering of six beers has a local focus and includes N1 Wheat Beer, Shoreditch Stout and Eco Warrior (all £3.75 - £4) which are an interesting change to the normal options. Wines start at £4 a glass and £12 a bottle for both white and red and prices remain reasonable, whilst cocktails (though not an extensive list) are a good deal at £4.95.
The Last Word
The Haberdashery is a charmingly place that’s full of character with a varied remit that could seemingly fulfill every dining need – a perfect place to while away an afternoon.