Benk + Bo could be the most idyllic way to start your day, ever. The name means ‘bench’ and ‘live’ in Norwegian and is a very fitting name for the café-bakery, yoga studio, and workspace in east London. The bakery is housed in the basement where Julien Valmier, ex-Head Baker at The Savoy Hotel can be found working on THOSE hard-to-find vegan croissants, pain au chocolat, eclairs and Paris-Brest.
The interior of this place is awash with plants and the Scandi aesthetic is simply a house goal dream that almost makes us weep with jealousy… even more so when we learn practically everything was found on eBay (WHHHAAAT). Even the herringbone floor was salvaged, hand-sanded and laid with love. It’s a beautiful bohemian garden indoors.
Breakfast for us was in typical Norwegian style. Starting with creamy oat, rye and spelt porridge topped with nuts, banana, seeds and a very special caramel sauce which led us to inquire if they sold that stuff separately and by the bucket load. A breakfast staple of creamy scrambled eggs on sourdough toast was as satisfying as we hoped. Leaving room, slightly, for their top class pastries, an almond croissant and cinnamon bun prompted conversations that went a little like this: ‘This is so good…try it’, ‘I’m so full’…’JUST TRY IT!’, ‘OMG IT’S SO GOOD’. All washed down with a hot cup of Dark Arts Coffee it felt the day had already been a productive one.[easy-image-collage id=109327]
While the breakfast offerings are ideal to sit and enjoy, or take away if you’ve no time for the tranquillity inside, we already have our eye on the lunch menu. With a members work area, a piano room, meeting room, kitchen on top of the yoga studio and cafe this evolving space is the work of Antony Burger and Mariell Lind Hansen who both have an eye for style, design and have created something that feels great.
4 – 6 Gravel Lane, London, E1 7AW