Not far from the city centre is Magdalen Road. Voted one of the top ten coolest shopping areas in the world, it’s certainly a road worth visiting. Popular with locals and tourists, it’s full of lovely independent shops, from grocers, gift shops to a cafe. Cue The Common Beaver; a delightful café nestled amongst them, opened its doors to customers at the beginning of the year. During the day, you’ll be sure of a ‘dam good coffee’, served by the experienced baristas and friendly staff.
It’s a great place to go for breakfast, brunch, lunches, cakes, hot and cold drinks. If you can grab a window seat, you can sit and watch the world go by, relax and enjoy your time there. It has a lovely vibe, friendly chatter amongst visitors sitting at the wooden tables and it’s tastefully decorated with artwork and hanging pot plants.
However, if you visit on a Thursday and Friday evening, you can get a little taste of the Middle East!
Jenn from Eat My Food, along with her partner Eddie, take over the kitchen and serve up delicious plates of food – Moroccan/Egyptian style tapas I would call it, or meze. There are lots of exciting dishes to choose from, plenty of vegan and gluten free options with one or two meat and fish dishes for the carnivores and pescetarians.
You might find one of your favourite bottles of local beer or ale in the fridge to drink as well as soft drinks which is great if you are driving.
We went for Pumpkin Hummus “all things topping” and Za’taar Flatbreads to nibble on.
The flatbreads were homemade, deliciously warm and we could have eaten a huge bowl of the hummus it was that good; topped with chickpeas, spinach, seeds and spices which added flavour and texture. Jenn brought out the rest of our small plates shortly after a few at a time. Our tummies were tickled with lots of different flavours. We enjoyed and shared:
Caramelised pear, apple & chestnut salad
Ful Medames (Egyptian fava bean curry) pesto, Za’taar
“Blackened” cauliflower, hummus, chilli, date syrup
Bashed potato, crispy crumb, dill, mustard, vegan aioli
Preserved lemon & thyme roast chicken, pickles, caper and olive yoghurt, flat bread
We dipped in and out of the dishes, licking our fingers as it was one of those meals where you don’t really need cutlery, mopping up every last bit with the flatbreads!
If we had to choose a favourite dish, we both would go back for seconds of the caramelised fruit salad and the bashed potato with aioli, although they were all very moreish.
Five dishes were plenty for the two of us, but you might like to try a few more if you are particularly hungry or if you visited with friends.
We shared the pudding, a tahini and date baked cheesecake with ice cream, also vegan and gluten free. It was delicious. I might not share mine next time!
What a wonderful evening, chatting, relaxing and sharing lots of lovely tasty plates of food. If you haven’t been yet, you should. Of course, you can visit The Common Beaver during the day for a dam good coffee. Charlie’s smashed avocado and pea on sour bread with poachies is also highly recommended.
The meal provided in this review was gratis. Views expressed are independent of the business and is not seen or approved before publication.