‘Bookseller/Coffeehouse/School’ is how this cosy temple to gentle self-improvement aptly describes itself. Co-owned by the editor of The Idler magazine, the Academy is already attracting a loyal following of learned types who don’t take themselves too seriously. Alongside new & second-hand books is a tempting display of proper handmade cakes, so you can settle in at a vintage desk, slice of lemon drizzle in one hand, copy of The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear in the other. At lunchtime, savoury tarts with fillings such as anchovy & red pepper or Gorgonzola & fig are on offer. Most sweet & savoury stuff comes courtesy of the Blueberry Hill catering outfit, coffee is from Monmouth, & loose-leaf teas include Himalayan orange or ooling. Regular events include everything from ‘mending mornings’ to philosophy symposia.
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