So, here is what happens. Whenever i meet my friend mike for discussing projects, we choose a different coffee shop to go to. A couple of weeks ago he suggested to meet at cooper & wolf. I’d never heard of it before and so happily agreed!
It was a cold afternoon and i remember walking in and immediately feeling cocooned! There was an instant warmth about the place and it took me quite some time to take it all in. Torn between having my meeting with mike and snapping away with my camera to catch the fantastic light and misty windows, i decided to take as many photos i could that afternoon and come back to interview the owners the following week.
Meet the lovely sara and alex. Sara is swedish and alex is british. Married, and parents to a 2 years old son, they opened cooper and woolf in july 2012, serving home-cooked swedish food.
Sara came to london in 1997 to only stay for six months. This is 16 years ago. After completing a BA in fashion and going on to do an MA at the royal college of art, sara landed jobs as a bag designer for vivienne westwood and asprey. Eventually she set up a studio at home and offered her services as an accessory designer.
One of her favourite projects was when she was asked to design an exclusive mini-collection of accessories for vogue. This is actually something that sara would like to build on. These projects last 1 week and it would be the perfect balance between running a coffee shop/restaurant and making her craft.
Alex is an actor and so has lots of experience in working in coffee shops. Hence, sara looks after the food side of things whereby alex is more the coffee specialist. Done! Don’t you just love when people merge their talents, decide on a project and go and do it! There are always learning curves and hurdles to overcome, the best way is to just make it happen!
I completely fell in love with this simple yet incredibly effective window seating area? It flows so beautifully. Sara tells me that she just loves to shop an decorate and that when they decided on this project, even before they secured the premises, they were off to car boot sales, trawling ebay and mentally packing pieces from their own home.
Ok, so i don’t have a sweet tooth and am not a cake lover (allright, don’t all kill me simultaneously). Mike insisted he wants to share a cake so i gave in and we ordered this lemon poppyseed cake. Boy was it delicious. When cake is that good, even i like it! Apparently it gets delivered by a local woman every wednesday and friday. I say, run and try it!
Now there’s a surprise!
What struck me immediately about this place is that it’s very child-friendly and….
yes, hello there, furry friendly too!
In some corners, there’s a real sense of being like in a living room. The little book swap shop, where you simply exchange your books and place 50p in a jar.
I’ve always had a soft spot for glass bottles and jars. What a nice collection.
This counter display cabinet is very old and came from an adjacent shop that closed down.
These table numbers are just gorgeous. Sara and alex bought triangle door stoppers from ikea , glued 2 together and applied the leather handle. To finish off they stuck down numbers from a scouts calendar. Genius and very effective. Don’t you love the counter display cabinet, seen here sideways?
Really like the different materials used here.
The coffee is a big thing at cooper & wolf. They use caravan coffee and this chap is responsible for a perfect result!
Small, but perfectly adequate little shop!
Part of the kitchen.
Here’s an overview of the dishes on offer.
See the photo of grandma lisa? That’s when she was young.
Here’s grandma lisa again. This picture was taken a few years ago. Today she’s 94 years old. Cooper & wolf serve up her secret recipe of meatballs. No, they are not ikea meatballs, they are the real deal!
Before sara and alex opened, they had a cook off with their swedish head chef paul. They each prepared a variety of dishes, invited a bunch of people round and voted for the most popular dishes. This is how the menu came about. Initially they thought they would regularly change it but that proofed quite involved. There are, of course, the obligatory fishcakes.
What’s next? Well, sara tells me that they’re looking to open in the evenings for dinner as lots of customers have been asking for it. Sounds great to me.
This is certainly a place i’ll return to often. Simple, authentic, honest and swedish. Quite a perfect combo, would you agree?
Cooper and Wolf, Chatworth Road, Clapton, London E5 0LA
Happy weekend lovelies. See you monday. Hoping to introduce a new category. Fingers crossed. Stay tuned! Oh, and happy valentine’s day!