Actors Michael Camp and Eaton James love their nanas.
So much so that, when they launched their café in Crouch End they made it a homage to their nanas’ homes and named it Edith’s House.
Few cafes offer as much character, charm and humour as this wonderfully quirky place. Stepping over the threshold is like arriving at your nana’s house. The colour scheme is beige, magnolia and orange, old family pictures adorn the walls and the furniture is suitably twee.
Eaton said: “We were becoming disenchanted with the acting business, we’d been going on tour a lot and decided to do something else. When we talked about opening a coffee shop we wanted it to be a place where people could truly relax; you feel most relaxed at your nana’s house.
“This venue was perfect - lots of funny shaped pockets and rooms, we’ve divided it into a TV lounge, a posh lounge, bedroom and a bathroom – you can sit on the loo and have a coffee (we’ve converted the sink into a table).”
Edith, Eaton’s nana, is 96 years old and unable to visit, but she’s had a Skype tour and loves it. Michael’s Nana Joan also loves it and donated much of the furniture; the rest came from e-bay, car boot sales and charity shops.
Eaton starred in various West End shows (Joseph, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables and played Howard in The Band, Take That’s musical), while Michael was in Macbeth at the Globe and in Saint Joan at the National. They spent eight months designing and kitting out the café.
He added: “We didn’t want to open another coffee shop with bare brick and stainless steel. People come in because they’re intrigued and they love it – they become very nostalgic and always comment on how good the food and coffee is.”
The menu is described by Eaton as “nana food” and includes flavoured scones and traditional comfort food. New vegan and vegetarian options are coming soon.
The couple live in Crouch End and love it. “It’s like a little village”, said Eaton. “Sometimes we don’t think we’re in London – it’s really charming with a nice community feel and is really lovely to see so many regulars. It’s a breath of fresh air – having no tube feels like you’re not connected.”
Edith’s is the latest North London business to offer discounts via the Local Buyers Club. Members can save 15% there Monday to Friday.
Eaton added: “I love the concept of a card that supports independents: if I’m going to spend £2.50 on a coffee I wouldn’t spend it in Costa or Starbucks! I’d help an independent café (the coffee would be better anyway).”