Just by Totteridge and Whetstone station is a gem of a café called (appropriately) The Waiting Room. This vintage style tea room was set up two years ago by mother and daughter, Caroline and Sophie and offers tasty light bites as well as proper afternoon teas. They also sell retro homewares.
I popped along recently to try it out over coffee, but decided to stay for early lunch. It was a fairly quiet Tuesday morning, but while I was there was a steady stream of customers. The Waiting Room is a temple to shabby chic, furnished with mismatched furniture with calming, atmospheric classic jazz playing in the background. The menu even continues with theme being taped into an old book. My cappuccino hit the spot nicely and I opted for cheese soufflé omelette for lunch. It’s been a while since I’ve had this and it struck me as an ideal choice. I noticed that several people were going for on-trend avocado smash (avocado mixed with feta, mint, lime and chilli flakes on sourdough toast, topped with poached eggs) and I’d been tempted by the “posh egg and chips” (sautéed potatoes, chorizo, spring onions two fried eggs). The all-day menu also includes breakfast options, rolls, sandwiches, salads and a soup of the day (leek, parsnip and ginger on my visit) priced up to £7.50. My soufflé omelette was beautifully light and puffy, well flavoured with gruyère, cheddar, parmesan and chives and served with a few well dressed salad leaves. Delicious and a bargain at £6.
Serenaded by Ella Fitzgerald and Sinatra, I was in no particular hurry so I ordered tea and a home-baked cake to finish off (and continue my research!). I got three cups out of the generous pot of tea (£2.50) and my Benedict bar (£2.50) was like a shortbread with a chewy Bakewell tart style topping of almonds and raspberry jam. It went down a treat with the Earl Grey. With 24 hours notice (and £5 per person deposit), a full afternoon tea is available for £15 with home made pink lemonade and unlimited tea and for a modest corkage of £2.50 you can bring along your own fizz. The café is also available for private parties and hosts regular community events such as The Real Book Society every other Thursday and the Knit and Nibble group on Wednesday mornings (see website or phone for details).
Tuesday–Friday 8am–5pm (kitchen closes at 3pm)