White tiles, blackboards and limited seating are all the rage at the moment.. well at least in my café inventory. My most recent discoveries all seem to follow a similar interior design pattern, although each differs in what they serve. Back in September when I was reading up on feminism and the beauty myth for my literature review, I had the pleasure to enjoy a sweet brunch at Masion D'Etre on Highbury Corner.
Highbury is a beautiful area of town, with a delightful park and is the meeting point between Holloway and Angel. On one side you have trendy Upper Street, the other leads to Dalston and Hackney- my old stomping ground- and another up in to Nag's Head. In a quiet spot behind the roundabout, Masion D'Etre sits, a little pretentiously with its large square windows and black sign with simplistic white writing. Upon entering you are faced immediately with a challenge: find a table. They serve coffee and pastries upstairs in the front (where you can people watch the world going by), and sandwiches in the back. There is also a small garden area but I didn't get a chance to check this out. It's pay at the counter service, so you can see which pastries look best on the day.
I went for a pain au raisin, which was spiced with cinnamon and lemon zest. To top it off, I dipped the pastry in to the homemade raspberry and champagne jam, which was just to die for. The hot chocolate was smooth and creamy, and also received a dip from the pastry. Water is served in vintage carafes and none of the plates match, which I think is pretty cool.
Maison D'Etre can be found at 154 Cannonbury Road, N1 2UP, just across from Highbury and Islington Station. They are open from 7:30-6pm during the week and 9am-6pm at the weekend. They strive to use the best food and coffee suppliers in London and feature artworks and play records. A brilliant Sunday hideout.