I’ve been following the @TrinityStore Twitter account for a while now. I can’t remember how I found them, but their feed usually makes me laugh, and also makes me very hungry.
I was waffling on about how I’d brought some beautiful lemons back from Cyprus, thin skinned and almost a cross between lemons and oranges, and I happened to mention I’d me making lemon curd. The Trinity Stores social media lady expressed much interest, so I decided to take her a jar when I was next in the vicinity.
That day was today.
I headed off from East Croydon and got to Balham pretty quickly. The stores are very easy to spot, being located right opposite the rail station’s exit. I hurried across the road, desperate to get out of the biting wind. I failed to get a photo of the outside, because I was so cold, but I should have done. It looks so welcoming! My apologies for not providing that bit of viewing.
They do look like they should be nestled in a village somewhere, possibly with Miss Marple sitting inside having a pot of tea, although that would elevate the possibility of foul play, so maybe not Miss Marple…if anybody used to watch Mapp & Lucia, then you will know that kind of quintessential English village setting I mean.
I had been told to ask for Rick when I got there, and I dutifully passed over the jar of pale, creamy looking preserve. It’s quite sharp, and very lemony. I believe Faye (that’s the social media lady) is going to make a cake with it. There was a discussion about what it was, and where it was from, and then it was carefully placed in the fridge for safekeeping.
Rick very kindly offered me a coffee and some cake. I let him choose which cake, as there was no way I could decide.
The coffee was divine. Strong and full of flavour but not bitter, and the cake…Oh my, the cake. They had chosen to give me me some lemon, olive oil and rosemary cake, which not only smelled and looked amazing but tasted fabulous too.
Soft and juicy, sweet but not overpoweringly so. It had an almost treacle tart taste, but was so much more. I took my time over it, because I didn’t want it to end.
The very patient people who work there then let me potter about taking photos of the place. It's been so beautifully put together, there's not a corner that hasn't been thought about.
This wee birdie made me smile so much.
The staff have all had input into the decor, Rick has left them to it and they have made it into a haven of peace and loving quirkiness.
In the evenings they put candles out to make it a relaxing place to be, and it certainly is that. It maintains an air of gentility, even during lunch hour, when people are in and out all the time. The background music is at the perfect volume, in no way invasive, and lets you sit and think.
If you are ever in Balham, try to go. It's right opposite the rail station entrance.
They also gave me some grapefruit and poppy seed cake to take home for Tex. :) I bought some scotch eggs - they do six kinds including a vegetarian one - and a pork pie so Tex and I will try those out tomorrow.
I wish that I lived nearer, because this warm and welcoming place would be my regular retreat from the outside world. It has a sense of timelessness to it, from the faint tinkling of old-time music to the assorted crockery.
It’s not forced hipster, it’s not practiced shabby chic, it’s just a place formed out of a genuine love for what they do. I can’t wait to have occasion to go back.
It’s amazing what you can discover, just from a Twitter chat about lemon curd.
5 & 6 Balham Station Road
Tel: 0208 673 3773