Historical version 1 of Familia Cafe, E7 9BB
- 180 Forest Lane, E7 9BB
- Mon-Fri: 7:30am-6pm; Sat: 9am-5pm; Sun: 10am-4:30pm
Tiny cafe perched on the corner of a busy junction just by Forest Gate Station.
There's seating for a dozen people inside, at sturdy wooden tables with a combination of freestanding chairs and a narrow bench along the wall by the door. Floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides let in light. Further back is the service counter with displays of sweet and savoury pastries, cakes, and soft drinks, and beyond this is access to a pleasant little courtyard patio garden.
Kake visited on a Monday lunchtime in September 2019. There were five or so other customers when I arrived around noon, and others were in and out while I was there, some of them sitting in the garden out the back. Music was playing — a Beatles CD — not too loud.
Spanish breakfast (£3, with £1 extra for Serrano ham) photo was simple but very good. The tomatoes were fresh and ripe, and there was enough garlic for a garlic-lover without making it impossible to taste the tomato. Although salt and good-quality olive oil were supplied on the side to add as you wish, I didn't find the salt necessary since the tomatoes were already flavourful. The bread was good quality too, toasted properly, and just the right amount to go with the tomatoes.
Earl Grey tea (£2) was made with a decent quality teabag from Newby, served in a pot with a proper gilt-trimmed cup and saucer.
They have WiFi (ask staff for the network name and password) and at least two plug sockets. Two of the other customers were working on laptops while I was there. However, it's very small, and I suspect if the weather hadn't been so good there would have been quite some competition for seats inside.
Child-friendliness: They have at least one highchair (IKEA Antilop with tray) but it might be a bit of a squeeze to find room for it.
Accessibility: No steps to get in, but there are two steps to the toilet and two more from there to the garden.