Nearest tube: Holloway Road
Sacred is a little chain with three outlets in Soho, Westfield and Highbury, I popped into the Highbury branch for a morning coffee with some friends based in North London.
The café is in a rather odd off the beaten track location in a new housing development a few minutes’ walk from Holloway Road tube. On entering, the sacred theme is not immediately obvious, that is until you look upwards to be greeted by a 5 foot plastic angel cradling a coffee cup. Seating is mostly in large comfy sofas, but it was rather chilly because the ceilings are high and the insulation of the new building very poor. I had read that the shops were Kiwi run (hence I was expecting a killer flat white) and the baristas did indeed appear to be of an antipodean persuasion. They looked a bit like backpackers who had taken a wrong turn somewhere, but they were very friendly and certainly knew their way around a coffee machine.
My flat white was very well presented with delicate latte art, the milk had been very well treated and had integrated properly with the espresso. The quality of coffee was good; apparently the beans come from Nicaragua – the baristas weren’t sure what their London supplier is, but I suspect it might be Monmouth. There were a few stray coffee grains in the bottom of my cup – I am still not sure if that is a sign of the ability of the baristas, quality of machine or unrelated to either, but I have never seen stray coffee grains in a flat white from Federation. To accompany my coffee I had a fresh croissant which was light and fresh, along with a New Zealand lolly cake which consisted of marshmallows and biscuit fragments, brought together with a condensed milk then rolled in coconut. It was extremely sweet and far too sickly for me: I think it would even make a Glaswegian grandmother think twice about the decay on her dentures before she tucked in……not recommended.
Sacred offers proper antipodean flat whites, but avoid the Lolly cake.
Coffee score – 3/5
Atmosphere – 1/5