I spotted Leyas on my first day at work back in June, situated opposite Mornington Crescent station and conveniently, my new office. The following Friday I experienced my first Leyas coffee, which became a weekly habit of mine. Leyas is an independent coffee shop offering hand-crafted artisan coffee and home-made foods including gourmet salads, crusty baguettes and most importantly cake! Spilt over two levels with the capability of seating 40 guests, you could describe the café as having an up-market country feel to it, a world away from the pound shops located just up the street. This isn’t to say Leyas is pretentious; the clientele varies throughout the day with the majority being relaxed (not-in-a-rush) professionals who work nearby. Like me I suppose.
My favourite thing about Leyas is the coffee. Sadly, I’ve become an addict of flavoured syrups which means I rarely experience real tasting coffee. Leyas and PAUL are one of the only places I prefer the pure coffee over sugary syrup. This may be because Leyas coffee is made with Arabica beans with notes of cherry and a dark caramel treacle-like body to ensure a sweet enduring finish. The coffee is loved so much, everyone in the office is prepared to venture out in bad weather and pay over a £1 or more for Leyas coffee rather than visit on-site Starbucks.
I’ve only ever experienced three of Leyas s sweet treats but all have been fantastic. I particularly love their almond croissant, which priced at £2.20 (take-away) is exceptionally good value. The monstrosity-of-a-pastry is bigger than my hand and if had for breakfast, would keep you feeling satisfied until lunch. The centre is filled with gooey almond paste surrounded by soft pastry whilst the outer pastry is deliciously crispy and baked to perfection. There is a generous sprinkling of almonds on top which is great for picking off one by one and making it last the whole morning.
A recent Friday morning treat was in the form of a muffin. There is usually a choice of around four flavours including apple crumble and raspberry and white chocolate. I chose a carrot cake muffin after being drawn to the cream cheese frosting on top. The carrot cake muffin was lovely and fresh and included shavings of carrot and chunks of walnut throughout. The cream cheese frosting was especially appetising but this was rather too sweet and heavy for an early morning breakfast.
Before leaving my current job and moving to a new organisation based half way across London I marked my last ever Leyas with a slice of homemade banana bread and my usual skinny cappuccino. The banana bread was soft and gooey, so much so the middle wasn’t cooked and involved moist ripe banana. The rawness of the cake was a blessing as it was the best banana bread I have ever tasted. It did mean that the mixture was slightly denser than normal and I had to eat it with a spoon but I took my time and it was incredible. Huge chunks of walnuts were hidden throughout the bread adding to the flavour.
I will miss my Friday morning treat from Leyas . Although, I’m sure my new office will have a coffee shop or two nearby which I can only hope will provide equally great tasting coffee and cake. After all, that’s what (fat) Friday’s are for!
Living life, loving cake,