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Tide Tables Cafe

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by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published October 29th 2010
If you don't venture under Richmond Bridge you might miss finding Tide Tables. From the town side it doesn't look like much - just a cafe under the arch of the bridge - but on the other side it's got a large and pleasant courtyard dotted with tables and chairs, most of which are pulled up against the wall overlooking the river.

People arrange up a chair and/ or table, put their feet up against the wall and watch the world float, or walk, by, while enjoying a bit of shade in summer under the big trees. While they relax and play flâneurs they might be sipping a very decent coffee, or even a glass of wine of beer, or snacking on something veggie - all the cakes, tarts, quiches, Higgidy pies, chillies, paninis, curries and others are strictly vegetarian. Even if you're a meat eater they make it relatively easy to choose something, 'cause they have it all on display in a cabinet and you just pick and point and they'll zap it for you if you want them to. Simple, but fuss-free, usually served with some greens or other, and pretty good.

Bring your paper, or your dog, or your baby, or don't. This place not only has a great location it's also got a really relaxed atmosphere to it - granted most of the action happens along the side of the tranquilly flowing river, so they can't take too much credit, but the inside is nice too and everyone seems friendlier than average. Bring your folks here if they're visiting you in London.

Last Saturday of every month Tide Table hosts Jam Jar, an open mic night. Which has got to be one of the friendliest nights in town (or out of town, Richmond is technically Surrey.). The style is folky, but that goes with the venue which also has a community noticeboard with advertisements for yoga classes and school fetes.
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Why? Bring your folks here if they're visiting you in London.
When: Best in summer - but if it's pleasant to be outside it will be pleasant to be here
Where: 2 The Arches TW9 1TH (under the bridge), nearest station Richmond
Cost: Tea for 2 for £2.20
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