I went to Nia for the first time yesterday and immediately loved it – I’d always thought it was just another coffee place and consequently walked straight past it about a thousand times. In fact, it’s a fabulous little place to go to eat lunch (or just have coffee – lots of coffee – which is what we did). As I continually mention in my coffee-shop reviews, a prime people-watching location is very important. Situated right on the edge of North Laine on the road leading right up to the station, Nia definitely satisfies that criteria.
The atmosphere of the place is lovely, slightly rustic shabby chic with big chunky wooden tables, tall wide windows and plants everywhere, which makes it a wonderfully pleasant place to sit and while away a good few hours. The service is brilliant: I was greeted and shown to a table by a lovely young man as soon as I walked in. It’s table service too, which I much prefer to standing around in a queue at a cash register and then finding there’s nowhere to sit. They also get extra points for the fact that when I couldn’t have anything on the breakfast menu (as it all contained wheat) they made me poached egg and smoked salmon specially. Gorgeous.
So, moving on to the coffee – it’s absolutely delicious. Saying that, I’m not (really) a big coffee fan. I have to have it sufficiently diluted with copious amounts of frothy milk and a couple of sugars and have never had an espresso or black coffee in my life. In other words, I like a damn good latte. Nia does just that. They even serve it in a glass coffee mug with a long spoon. Beautiful. Also, rather than little shaky sachets that created mess all over your table, they have a little bowl of sugar lumps to plop into your coffee. I may be very sad for saying so, but this makes me happy.