Imagine walking into a quaint village café, hidden from tourists and frequented by the locals.
Once upon a time, there was a streetcar that ran from the center of the mid-sized, industrial city of London, Ontario to the neighboring beach town of Port Stanley, transporting beach goers to and from the city without fail. Before arriving at the lake, this streetcar picked up swimsuit-clad families from several designated stations across London. One of these stops was in the quaint Wortley Village.
Despite being annexed to London in 1890, Wortley Village has still maintained its endearing community, thus becoming a village within a city, where independently-owned shops, restaurants, and cafés continue to flourish; a reminder of a simpler time.
134 Wortley Road (London, Ontario, Canada)
Located in the heart of Wortley Village, Black Walnut has thrived from the village’s close-knit community, providing its locals with a place to take solace from life’s woes- not to mention, an excuse to gather (and gossip) over a warm brew. For the past four years, co-owners and brother-sister duo, Edward and Mandy Etheridge have graced their customers with scrumptious delicacies and fine-brewed coffee. They must be exceptionally good because their presumed success has granted them a second location in downtown London (724 Richmond Road). Congratulations! Read all about it in the local paper, The Londoner.
Quality of Service:
My family and I were at Black Walnut at their busiest hour, but despite the mass of customers on this Saturday afternoon, the baristas kept their cool, patiently taking orders, and serving them in a reasonable amount of time. Just don’t forget to smile and enjoy the coffee-making process from time to time, baristas. (‘∀’*)
Upon entering the cafe, my mother was a little flustered by the 3 panel chalkboard menu, listing all of their hot & cold beverages, desserts, and savory options. Perhaps, this much choice can be overwhelming for first-time customers. My mother is not a coffee drinker, so it was amusing to see her flabbergasted over the seemingly endless variations of caffeinated beverages.
Quality of Product:
Their cappuccino ($3.50) and double shot espresso ($2.89) were brewed with their unique espresso blend, using their sleek and shiny machines: Mazzer Grinder & Elektra Espresso Machine. Black Walnut roasts and packages their own line of coffee blends, which are only available for purchase in store. This is reason alone to come visit Wortley Village. Of course, you can’t come all this way and not indulge in their delicious baked goods. Their white cheddar & cranberry scone, a seemingly odd combination, and lemon poppy seed cake were phenomenal.
Quality of Atmosphere:
The interior is beautifully designed with dark wood counters, tables, and floors, giving the cafe a warm and cozy feel. A quintessential chalkboard menu adorns the wall, and on sunny days, the outdoor patio entices cafe-goers; the perfect place to enjoy a cup of their home brewed joe.
Interestingly enough, they don’t offer complimentary WiFi, unlike most cafes. Some might be inconvenienced by this lack of connection, but could it be contrarily enforcing connection? Instead of being distracted by beckoning texts & tweets, patrons are encouraged to engage in conversation with each other, and ergo, enriching the cafe experience.
I will always cherish the time spent with my family at Black Walnut, a welcomed change from reviewing cafes par solo. Thank you for providing the means for such an occasion, Cafe of Village Proportions.
As always, thank you for reading and joining me on this #internationalcoffeejourney
Life is all about great food, great drinks, and great friends. These three things are what inspire us at Black Walnut everyday.