As soon as I walk into Barber & Parlour, I realise it’s not your average cafe. It’s more. It’s actually a cafe-cum-shop-cum-cinema-cum-hairdresser’s-cum-nail salon(-cum-barber-cum-parlour… I mean, I should have known). I find myself smiling and thinking: Only in Shoreditch.
The huge corner building, set over three floors, is not just home to a quirky laid back cafe, but also to Electric Cinema (which is amazing), Neville Barbershop and Cheeky Parlour. As we ask for a table for two, we are told it’s ‘free seating’, which makes sense once we witness the chilled out vibe, with an eclectic mix of different chairs, stools, benches and sofas. We perch at the end of a long table (presumably intended for communal dining) and suddenly feel very at home in the quirky surroundings. Large old warehouse style windows span across two walls and fill the vast space with light, making it feel even larger than it already is. The cool brick walls are adorned with miniature artefacts (all for sale), which sit on industrial style shelves and counters, including vases, cookery books and even bird houses.
The menu is snacky and concise, with brunch being the main focus. I (typically) opt for the largest dish on the menu, the Barber’s breakfast, which seems an obvious choice, but the halloumi burger is also extremely tempting. Our waitress is lovely – chatting away and making jokes. She admits they are out of certain dishes, but we come quite late in the day for brunch so it’s totally understandable. We soak in the surroundings for a while and I check out the nail bar on the way to the toilet – not at all what I was expecting to see upstairs!
The full breakfast comes with chorizo instead of sausage, which is a welcome surprise, and the black pudding is the first one I’ve ever managed to finish! I’m normally pretty squeamish at the stuff, but this one is done particularly well. The halloumi burger (we end up sharing) is tasty, accompanied with mayo and red pepper.
Next time I’d love to come for the full experience. Where else can you get your hair done, have lunch and catch a film without leaving four walls? Great for the casual vibe and the eclectic feel that one would hope for in Shoreditch.
64-66 Redchurch St