For what seemed like aeons, we would strut past Chalk Farm tube, either on our way to Primrose Hill, or Steeles Village, and wonder why it was one of the only stations round these parts sans coffee shop attached.
And then finally, about a year or so before the pandemic, Roastery and Toastery suddenly appeared, instantly brightening up the strip with its pink and gold exterior, marbled interior, and bright yellow outdoor seating.
“Our aim is to make our locals happy and to deliver some of the best toasties and coffee in town,” says co-owner Marie Peyton, modestly (yes, she’s sister to renowned restaurateur and Great British Menu judge, Oliver Peyton).
And, as you’d expect from the name, thankfully they take their coffee 100% seriously. The house blend roasted exclusively for the cafe uses 100% Arabica beans from Palmital Estate, Brazil, La Acacias Estate, Columbia and Beneficico Santa Rosa, Honduras.
Meanwhile, a regularly rotating single estate coffee includes a top-grade specialty washed sweet, medium-bodied Arabica blend from Muungano, a cooperative in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For those that prefer something a little bit more chilled, try a Nutty iced coffee (read on for our special offer, below), made with house cold brew, cashew and almond milk; or Minty, with mint and a dash of cream.
If you’re feeling peckish, these aren’t just any old toasties: for a start, they star the finest sourdough bread from the Peyton and Byrne bakery just over Regent’s Park in Great Portland Street.
Secondly, made fresh each day (which goes without saying), they come in two varieties: the traditional pocket made in a hot sealed sandwich machine reminiscent of nostalgic 1980s or 90s childhood treats; and the classic toasted sandwich, melted to perfection between two hot grills.
Whichever you choose, you can be assured of the best possible cheese filling. “Months of research went into finding the perfect mix, the right balance between flavours and melting temperature,” says Marie. “After much deliberation, Wookey Hole Cheddar, Red Leicester, Stilton and Gruyere all made the cut.”
Which to go for? Some of our favourite toasties include the Classic, with the mouthwatering house four-cheese blend, plum tomatoes, and spring onion; or, if you’re there first thing, it has to be the Breakfast Beanie – with homemade baked beans, tomato sauce and smoked cheddar.
Then there’s the Frenchie, with gruyere, thyme and caramelised onions, while fans of spicy n’duja need to make a beeline for the Dude Ja, also stuffed with smoked cheese, grilled peppers, rocket and spring onions (oh my!). Hotter still is the Chilli Chaser (pictured above), which Marie calls “infamous” with its fresh, fiery habanero and jalapeño relish. Are you up to the chilli challenge? Of course you are.
There are, of course, vegan options, too: plant-based diners should make haste for the newest menu addition, I’m Not Cheesy, with hummus, minted peas, rocket, grilled zucchini and aubergine on toasted sourdough.
Finally, it goes without saying that Roastery and Toastery also offer a delicious selection of cakes and breakfast pastries from Peyton and Byrne Bakeries. These change daily so your best bet is to swing by and see what’s fresh that day.
Exclusive offer: buy a golden, crunchy, melty toastie and enjoy a mini Minty Iced Coffee on the house. Available until Sat August 1st.