ldner #198: sophie wright

Cafe Miami is probably the most Instagrammed cafe in Hackney. It’s an art deco dream house that is bringing the sunshine of the Gold Coast of Florida into our lives. Oh, it also does pretty damn good waffles! We talk to the lady behind Cafe Miami, meet Sophie…

Where do you live in London and what do you love about that area?

I live in Clapton, East London. I love that it has a very village-y feel and real sense of community with lots of independent shops, restaurants and bars that are all very individual and doing their own thing really well. I’ve been overwhelmed by how friendly and supportive of local businesses the people are around here. I really hope it stays this way and doesn’t change too much.

Tell us how Cafe Miami came about?

I moved into The Strand Building just over a year ago, after trying to get a flat there for over 2 years when I first visited the building with a friend and fell in love with the art deco architecture and ‘Miami’ style courtyard full of palm trees and pastels! When I moved I was working in fashion but growing very tired and over stressed with it all and I knew I wanted to make a big change to my life and career. I worked in a restaurant for 6 years when I was at school and always remembered it as the best job I’d ever had, so it’s something I always thought I would like to go back to at some stage, but I’m not sure I ever really thought I would actually go through with it, until it seemed to land in my lap …

Everything about Cafe Miami has been well thought out, from the sugar cubes to the social media, where does this creative flair come from?

I worked in fashion for a long time, so I guess it’s second nature to me now to really consider every single detail in the things I do, especially visually. I definitely approached opening the Café as launching a brand and I wanted the art deco / Miami inspiration to be the focus of that in every way from the decor through to the food and everything else in between. Aesthetics and interior design / decoration are really important to me and always have been, so that was always going to be my starting point – when I was little I was always obsessed with painting my bedroom and then changing everything in the room to match the new colour scheme, and then matching my t-shirts, trainers and hair accessories to it too! I get totally addicted to trying to source random objects in specific colours, I literally spent weeks online searching for specific shades of plastic cutlery, milk jugs and electric cable! I really believe in how different colours can change your mood and the way you feel and I love how much everyone appreciates the colour scheme and details within the space, from the light fittings to the sugar cubes!

[URIS id=80988]

How did you put together the menu and what was the inspiration behind it?

The menu is pretty much made up of all of my favourite foods or ingredients which I’ve turned into brunch! I wanted to continue the deco / Miami theme through the menu too, so it includes modern and traditional American influences with a little Mexican / Spanish twist. My mum writes cookery books and so many of the recipes are hers or variations of my favourite foods that she used to cook for me at home. The sweetcorn waffles, for example, started as bite-sized sweetcorn fritters that she used to make for me as an after-school snack. When I left home I used to make them almost every weekend for my friends for brunch, they got bigger and bigger and eventually turned into waffles….and then the waffle burger (which is filled with guacamole, chorizo, a fried egg & Cholula). I have a real sweet tooth so I always play around with ways I can mix sweet and salty flavours together, and then throw loads of hot sauce on top!

What would be your perfect day in London?

I’d definitely start with breakfast at Granger in Clerkenwell, I’m in love with their Ricotta Hotcakes & Honeycomb butter! Then, imagining that my perfect day would be 30 degrees and super sunny, I’d take a trip up to Alexandra Palace, which is where I grew up. I have so many amazing memories from there and I still think has the best view of London. My next meal would probably be at Black Axe Mangal for the Squid Ink & Cod Roe flatbread and a mixed grill. I’d then head to a gig at Roundhouse, preferably to see Nas, Skepta, JME, Frank Ocean, Sampha & D’Angelo all performing to a live orchestra (imagine!!) before picking up a pizza from Yard Sale on my way home!

Looking for other places in Clapton? Then see our guide here, or for more brunch places, we’ve got this covered here.

Cafe Miami, 24 Lower Clapton Road, London, E5 0PD