The closest town to where I live is Letchworth. Letchworth was the world’s first Garden City, and still has the world’s first roundabout! It’s a town I’m very fond of, not least due to the amazing cafés and restaurants that have opened there over the last few years. On one ‘after school dash for stationery’ recently we tried out No. 12 Deli and Coffee House, in the heart of Letchworth town centre.
I like Letchworth. It has a nice feel to it and with the semi-pedestrianised streets the town centre offers a vibrant array of independent and mainstream shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes … along with some child-addictive water features! No. 12 is located, funnily enough, at number 12 Leys Avenue. This is one of the main streets in the town centre.
No. 12 is relatively new – I remember visiting soon after they opened only a few months back (though it may be longer as time flies!) It has a brilliant ‘industrial, ‘raw’ feel to the design – very on trend, yet comfortable and enticing. There is seating to suit everyone; a good amount of outdoor/on street tables and chairs where you can watch the world go by. Inside there are comfy leather sofas, various wooden tables to seat 2, 4 and more, along with some ‘against the wall’ bars with metal tall stools (for those with laptops wanting to work – there is wifi). Very contemporary design, set off with exposed brick and white tiled walls.
But there’s more to a café than the décor … basically they win or lose by the quality of three things: 1) coffee, 2) cake, and 3) more cake 🙂 Maybe tea too – but I drink coffee. Specifically, flat whites – and all flat white aficionados will agree that there are some really good flat whites, and some really dubious ones out there. I tend to find a good barista, who has perfected the flat white, and give them my undivided custom from then onwards! So – let’s talk about what we ordered when we visited No. 12 …
Well, surprise surprise I ordered a flat white, along with a rather nice slice of cake. I chose it because it was pretty, but I was told it was a ‘latte’ cake.
My daughter had a hot chocolate (the full works), with a slice of chocolate cake.
And my son picked some crisps and a bottle of diet coke.
The cake was scrummy – highly recommend it. The chocolate cake (and hot chocolate) didn’t seem to touch the sides, so I assume a success there too! Toby loves Kettle Chips, so he was happy too.
What about the Flat White I hear you ask? It was, actually, really good. I didn’t take note of the coffee beans they use, but it was a really good flat white. Not too intense, but with that light-yet-dense creamy milk top. Yum!
The cake selection was very impressive on the afternoon we visited, as you can see …
In addition to the coffee house, No. 12 is also a delicatessen. This is a foodie’s dream! I could spend hours checking out their stock! Particular favourites are the ‘pour your own’ flavoured oils and vinegars – and their selection of wine!
Sauces, jams, condiments, artisan baked goods and teas are all available. Definitely worth a browse when you pop in for your lunch and/or cake.
No. 12 is a very sociable space. It’s a happy place with lots of people chatting and laughing (with the occasional person tapping away on a laptop with their back to you! [but that’s ok!]) I have to say that I love their coffee and cake, and I’ve been told the milkshakes are awesome, but on my next visit I’m going for lunch!