What can you tell us about Jacob the Angel?
It's the latest venture from the people behind The Palomar and The Barbary, siblings Layo and Zoe Paskin. This time they've opened a teeny coffee house which is named after the man who started England's first coffee house. He was called Jacob and it was an inn called The Angel in Oxford in 1651 - hence the name.
And how has all that translated into Jacob the Angel?
Mainly in the design of the place. It's still going through some final touches, but we love the attention to detail in what we've seen so far, from the brass letters sunk into the poured concrete floor. It's all based on an original coffee advert from the time of the original Angel Inn about the "benefits of coffee". The font used in that advert is used in everything from the floor to all the wonderfully designed wraps and packaging - and will eventually be used outside too. There's just something about it that fits the place VERY well.
Where is it?
If you've found the Barbary - it's right next door to that. That's just off Seven Dials, five minutes from Covent Garden tube.
And where should we sit?
It's a small place so if you see a seat, just grab it. There are about 10 spaces inside, and a further four outside. But even if a seat isn't free, you can grab a pew pretty easily in the square if it's a fine day. And absolutely everything's available to takeaway.
So what's on offer?
A mix of salads, sandwiches, pastries and cakes (as well as coffee and drinks to go with). Everything's laid out on a table and counter as you enter. Meaning that you'll want almost everything that you see in front of you.
But if we have to make a choice?
There's at least one particular cake that you'll want to get your hands on. That's the coconut cream pie. A mini pastry pie topped with a light soft meringue top with coconut throughout. It is astonishingly good. They only make 30 of these a day, so be sure to order it - we assure you, you won't regret it.
Other than that - you can simply roam around the dishes and be sure of quality whatever you choose. Of the four sandwiches on offer, we went for the tuna with sherry vinegar and gin-pickled cucumber, because - boozy tuna sandwich (£3.90).
The salads were firmly on point too - we tried a selection of these of which the roasted cauliflower with pumpkin seeds and green goddess dressing came out on top (£4 for a small portion, £6.50 for a big one - you can mix and match, no problem).
We also took a few cookies and brownies home with us, as well as some tahini madeleines. One of us loved the madeleines, the other not so much - these may divide opinion.
We've been impressed with everything the Palomar/Barbary team have done so far, and this just continues their successful streak. If you can grab a seat it's a damned fine and beautifully designed coffee shop. But even if you can't, a visit will leave you laden with delights to take away. We'll be sure of making many return visits here, whenever we're in the area. Thank God we don't live or work nearby or we might as well pay our salaries direct to them.
Hot Dinners were invited to Jacob the Angel. Prices are correct at the time of writing.
What: Jacob the Angel
Where: 16 1/2 Neal's Yard, Seven Dials, London WC2H 9DP
Bookings: It's walk-in only, or takeaway.