I like to think of myself as an all weather cyclist, but there is one thing that gets to me, cold fingers. I don’t mind the rain, and I sometimes even brave the snow, but I hate getting cold fingers when I’m out on the bike. I usually wear gloves if it’s cold, but they got so dirty and gunked up they were becoming a bit of a health hazard. Yesterday, I put the toxic gloves in the wash, and headed out knowing my fingers were probably going to turn blue. Salvation came when I cycled past the Town Hall, and remembered that Perky Blenders had opened their new place in the old Magistrates court. I turned down the long drive, locked the bike up, and headed in to warm my frozen paws over a nice cup of tea.
The former court house is now mainly council offices, with the cafe space occupying the entrance foyer. The space is simple and clean with white walls, bare concrete pillars, and two plywood counters, one for Perky Blenders and one that’s used as a reception desk for the council offices. The floor has a fantastic circular pattern on it, which I assume has always been there, and thanks to the windows that line the front of the space, the cafe is full of light. I particularity liked the rows of green fabric that run along the ceiling. They catch the light beautifully and look almost fluid as they are tickled by the breeze. It’s a little like sitting under a gently undulating tropical sea. Oh, and look out for the table made from one of the cell doors that was removed from the building when it was turned in to offices, it’s pretty cool.
This is the third cafe in the Perky Blenders empire, not bad for a company that first started selling coffee out the back of a mobile unit on the Ravenswood Estate. Much like the other Perky places, this one sells good cakes, pastries, really good tea, and their signature coffee made with beans roasted by their own fair hands. I’ve long been a fan of the Perky Blenders, so it’s great to see them with their own place in E17, back where it all started for them. They’ve come a long way since I first met Tom when he was working on the coffee van on a cold industrial estate. They now have a kiosk in Leytonstone Station, a cafe in Leyton, and now the place at the Town Hall. It’s good to see a local business doing so well.
If you are local you probably already know this, but there are plans afoot to redevelop the Town Hall complex which would see the old Magistrates court demolished. Putting a cafe in there and making use of the space whilst it’s fate is being decided seems like a good idea to me. Especially as it’s being run by the Perky team, a business with its roots and people in Walthamstow. I’m not going to get in to the rights and wrongs of closing the court or the planned developments, if I did that this post would be longer than war and peace. But, I will say that I liked Perky Blenders mark three. It has everything I have come to expect from the Perky team, good service, good cakes, and great tea & coffee. If you fancy trying the new place out, head to the Town Hall and look for the green neon magistrates sign.