For me, the South American influenced café Tinto, has always been the focal point of Fulham. From it’s opening time of 7am, to its uniquely late closing time (9pm) an array of characters can be found in Tinto, drawn to it like a moth to a flame. In the morning it is stumbled through by people who have just finished their morning run around bishops park, adorned in leggings and and quick drying T-shirt’s, they welcome the café’s new day. From late morning to afternoon it is now a different crowd that fill the indoor and outdoor seating (no matter how freezing). Herds of mother’s who have just successfully completed the school run gather around tables, oat milk chugging cappuccino’s. Since the café is dog friendly, the building is also usually crammed with dogs who sit and wait by a conveniently placed sliver dog bowl, that is constantly subjected to being pushed along the decking. Then in the afternoon more dispersed groups settle into the brown leather chairs, usually accompanied by a laptop or some written work, that as a child I would always try to decipher. Then finally when the lightness has been overcome by night, individuals work, their faces lit up with an artificial glow from their tablets as they stitch their own nest around them that devoids them of any self awareness, each one in their own world.

            The food and drink sold there’s quality is vindicated by the amount of customers buying them regularly. The coffee is particularly impressive. Under this spell of Tinto’s coffee, my parents now have formed the habit of always comparing coffee they get elsewhere to Tinto’s, predestined to a slight dissatisfaction every time. I’ve grown up on the brownies and cupcakes and cookies sold there, and feel at home when I see the complementary bowl of oranges that sit on the front table. However, to my dismay, as years have passed, the number of free babychinos my sister and I receive has decreased. Although in their defensive this just due to us no longer being shorter than the countertop. To sum up the popularity of Tinto, my family have now started to associate our friends with different items at Tinto, proclaiming that ‘oh yes they were a Tinto cheese toastie girl in Primary school’ as if that immediately indicates their personality.

            Tinto also boasts of an amazing team, the owner, Paul, befriending every resident of Fulham and somehow remembering everyone’s names. The cosy interior glows with hospitality and red heaters radiate down on the heads of all customers who have valiantly decided to brave sitting outside in the cold. Each table holds a memory for me and think this is one of the main charms of Tinto, it’s familiar. For most people, Tinto becomes a weekly practice and it soon is unquestionably a necessary destination. The love of Tinto is passed through generations, children also falling into their parents habits of using it all the time from work to meeting up with friends. Tinto is the hub of Fulham, and for me, always will be.


Evie Jouning