Time for tea

Discover the café in Palmers Green serving up a treat, writes Dana Burstow

My Time, Palmers Green

My Time owner Brian Lewis (right) with his enthusiastic chef Alex Chetty (left)

Ethical and sexy, who’d have thought it at 375 Green Lanes?

The visionary behind My Time café is Brian Lewis. You’ll find the café slap bang in the middle of the Edwardian parade of shops on the replanted section of Green Lanes in Palmers Green.

Brian has high hopes for regeneration and is busy galvanising shop owners, landlords and local residents into exploring its charms. The My Time café ethos is keep it local, know your supplier, and know your customer. While I’m visiting, every customer says hello or has a joke with Brian.

“Each pot of tea delivers three delicious infusions,” he says as he presents me with a pot of jasmine pearls. Here, theatre and ceremony goes into every coffee or tea.

What started just over two years ago as a café serving organic, independently-sourced fare, has developed into a lightning rod for local businesses and a gathering spot for people interested in excellent cocktails, live music, and a passion for vinyl.

Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, My Time entertains a crowd that would otherwise be traipsing to Winchmore Hill or Muswell Hill. Brian raves about his sexy funk, soul and disco nights, which sees people strutting their funky stuff!

Crown Heights Affair is the album I’d rescue from the café’s vinyl collection,” he says, referencing the self-titled 1974 debut by the New York disco group. Sometimes it’s a parents’ end-of-term party, and other times enthusiastic locals gather to enjoy Sunday live music sessions or open mic nights.

Locally-sourced ingredients with the lowest possible food miles are a passion for Brian; he explains how he has great relationships with Enefeld brewery; gin from the Old Bakery in Palmers Green; handmade sodas from Hackney; cakes from local bakers, some of whom are old friends; and experts in baking delicious creations which can be sampled in the café or ordered for special occasions. “It’s really important to me that I have a relationship with my suppliers – we all work together to help each other,” he says.

Increasing rents and rates challenge businesses. To beat that, Brian explains: “We are interested in offering something different, ethical, responsible, and fun.”

Brian escaped the responsibilities of the corporate world to rule his own domain. He finishes by saying: “Our local business association is working to make Palmers Green a thriving hub of successful, busy businesses and, with residents’ help, we’re looking forward to making that a reality.”

For more information about My Time:
Visit mytimefare.co.uk