The Old Courthouse Café

Since opening in late 2013, this tiny gem of a café in the Courthouse Gardens just behind Barnet Museum has generated a loyal following becoming a real community hub. Despite the limited space, Sophia and her friendly team serve top notch food that includes breakfasts, toasted sandwiches (see club sandwich pictured below), salads, pastries and cakes. A hot dish of the day is often available and, weather permitting, they have barbecues, making the most of the attractive gardens. Drinkswise, there are speciality teas from The Lawn (the fragrant Earl Grey is particularly good and I’m also partial to the rose tea) and organic fruit based drinks from Luscombe. A decent range of coffee from Doppio is also available. Judging by the cookery books sometimes visible behind the counter, Ottolenghi is an inspiration.

Local produce features, notably Lewis of London ice cream from Fold’s Farm in Arkley and Grown Up chocolate bars from Enfield. Gift items and cards are also available, many from local craftspeople. The café is closely involved with local events including Grassroots in the Park, Film in the Park open air summer cinema, the High Barnet Festival and Christmas in the Park with a temporary ice rink.

The café closes at dusk and seating is limited unless the weather is dry and you can sit at the tables in the gardens. There is a outside play area for children and a bouncy castle during the summer. However, at busy times do be prepared to be patient as there are only so many people they can serve from such a tiny kitchen. The Courthouse Café also offers an outside catering service.

Courthouse Café, Chipping Barnet

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