Tucked away within the heart of Leigh-On-Seas Broadway area, Barlow and Fields offers the perfect sun trap to escape reality with the comfort of homemade food while sipping on a freshly brewed cup. Its walls are plastered with local artistic prints, with bench like seating surrounding a centred wall that in its own right becomes the art exhibition place for these fantastic local pieces. Barlow and Fields serves good quality coffee, and I believe they are the only artisan coffee focused establishment within the area, which makes them stand out from all the other locally owned coffee shops. For a moment you forget you’re still in a seaside town as the focus on best coffee beans with different brewing techniques takes you away to an international city standard coffee bar, like many of those scattered around London. If you ever read and fell in love with Caffeine Magazine, Barlow and Fields is your local place to be.
On offer are a number of vegetarian salads which can accompany a vegetarian or meat slider sandwich. Available in a small/large plate the freshly made sandwiches offer an array of flavours that are bursting between two slices of fresh-cut bloomer bread. The coffee aromas fill the air with the hissing of the steam wand ever-present as your beverage gets handmade to the up most quality. Ordering a soya flat white as well as a regular flat white, usually expecting the soya flat white ilacks creative latte art as baristas often struggle to steam it into the silky foam that is needed. The baristas at Barlow & Fields however do not disappoint, both of the flat whites were crafted to perfection, first greeted by a lovely rossetta with the subtle coffee aromas peaking through the silky smooth layer of foam completing every essence of what a flat white should be -free poured milk so that the foam gets folded through the whole drink with no discernable layer separation between liquid coffee and foam. Helping preserve the crema so the coffee does the talking.
With an array of magazines, books and even the odd boardgame placed around you could easily spend mulitple hours dissolving into the wooden furniture, listening amongst the conversations while also getting tempted by the variety of cookies and cakes that are on offer, including a selection of vegan treats. A one stop social experience will leave your mind rested, lapsed with the warming hosts of its staff, forever welcoming, exceeding expectations to ensure you have the best experience within their company. What is perhaps the greatest advantage of the café is the casual feeling of it. With the slightly hidden location, small interior, chatty staff and homemade foods it is much different to bustly, busy coffee shops. Here you can sit down to read, work or socialise for hours.
If there’s anyway that I would want Barlow & Fields to improve it would be for them to expand its seating area so that its fine coffee could be reached by an ever expanding footfall. But its the small cosiness that helps make Barlow & Fields what it is, its friendly relaxed calm atmosphere entices you to carry on visiting, easily the best place for a delightful lunch and coffee combination.
Unit 4 Stirling Hall, rear of Elm Road, SS9 1HT Leigh-on-Sea