The Wren

The Wren

St Nicholas Cole Abbey originates from the 12th Century. It was destroyed in the Great Fire and rebuilt according to Christopher Wren’s design. Suffering bomb damage in the Blitz, it was rebuilt in the 1960s and recently redesigned.

So today we have a coffeeshop in a Wren church. And it’s as beautiful as it sounds. The place is a tranquil oasis in the city and there is plenty of seating in the spacious and elegant interior. Visual highlights include the long bar mounted with a wooden relief map of the local area and Wren’s distinctive logo.

Coffee is from Workshop and available as espresso-based drinks and also via the V60s on the brew bar. The staff are genuinely friendly and welcoming. Many are new to the professional coffee world and The Wren are working with Workshop to train staff. 

Teas are from the Brew Tea Company and soup, cakes and salads are now all made on site by chef Natalie. The Abbey is used as an outreach centre for a workplace Christian mission but visitors are not ‘Bible-bashed’. The only explicit signs of the mission aspect are the leaflets on the tables advertising lunchtime talks but I’m sure it would be a great setting to talk theology over an espresso or two.

Review by Phil Wain.