Imagine walking into a café in a quiet, quaint village, hidden from tourists, but frequented by the locals.
Once upon a time, the mid-sized industrial city of London, Ontario had a streetcar running from the center of town to the neighboring beach town of Port Stanley, transporting beach goers to and from the city without fail. At the turn of the century, this streetcar picked up swimming costume clad families stopping diligently at several designated stations in London and the next town over, St. Thomas before arriving at the lake. One of these stops was in the quaint village within the city, Wortley Village.
Today, Wortley Village has maintained its quiet, exclusive, intimate demeanor, while individually owned artisan shops and cafés have flourished within this tight-knit community; a reminder of a simpler time.
[134 Wortley Road N6C 3N8 (London, Ontario, Canada)]
Located in the heart of Wortley Village, Black Walnut has thrived from the village’s small community, providing the locals with a gathering place to take solace from life’s woes and an excuse to 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 tremendous coffee, and they must be exceptionally good because their success has allowed them to open a new location downtown London (724 Richmond Road). Read all about it in our local paper, the Londoner.
Quality of Service:
My family and I were there at their busiest hour, but despite the mass of customers, the baristas kept their cool, patiently took everyone’s orders, and served them in a reasonable amount of time. Just don’t forget to smile from time to time. (‘∀’*)
Upon entering the cafe, my mother was a little flustered by the 3 panel chalkboard menu, this having been her first time to go to a 3rd wave cafe. Not being a coffee drinker, it was cute to see her astonish over the seemingly endless variations of caffeinated beverages.
Quality of Product:
Their cappuccino (3.50 dollars) and double shot espresso (2.89 dollars) were brewed with their well-balanced espresso blend. Black Walnut roast and package their own line of coffee blends, which are only available for purchase in store. Reason alone to come visit the charming Wortley Village.
But you can’t come all this way and not indulge in their delicious baked goods. Their white cheddar & cranberry scone and lemon poppy seed cake were phenomenal.
Quality of Atmosphere:
The interior is beautifully designed with dark wood counter, tables & floors, giving the cafe a warm & cozy feel. A quintessential chalkboard menu adorns the wall, and on sunny days, the outdoor patio is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of home brewed joe.
Interestingly enough, they don’t offer free WiFi contrary to most cafes. Some would be inconvenienced by this lack of connection, but I think it contrarily enforces connection. Instead of being distracted by beckoning texts & tweets, patrons are encouraged to engage in conversation with each other, and ergo, enriching the community feeling of the cafe.
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.
Helpful Coffee Tips:
Coffee beans are cultivated in over 70 equator-hugging countries around the world. The most prominent exporters are:
Although not the highest producer of coffee, beans from Kenya, India, Ivory Coast, and Costa Rica are notably recognized in the coffee world.
Now go out and impress people with your random coffee knowledge.
Life is all about great food, great drinks, and great friends. These 3 things are what inspire us everyday.