So, if you could only visit one coffee place in London???

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So, if you could only visit one coffee place in London???

Postby shm » Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:27 am

I'm going to London next Wednesday. I'm arriving at 4pm and am busy all the next day before I have to leave. So have limited time in which to do stuff.

I'm staying at Gray's Inn [Rough Luxe (woo)], near Kings X tube and meeting 10-4 on Thursday near Holburn tube. Where is the one place I should definately visit on Wednesday, [and possibley another place pre-meeting on Thursday morning]??????

I know there's a dearth of places near Kings X but there are places in Bloomsbury, Covent Garden and environs and further east. I love Cappuccinos and would like a decent cup of something from a chemex to compare with my home trials.
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RE: So, if you could only visit one coffee place in London??

Postby Thiskey » Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:37 pm

You're not a million miles from Soho, so you could go for Flat White, Milk Bar, Monmouth Coffee Co (not far from Soho), LJ Coffee House, Fernandez & Wells or the Espresso Room.

Elsewhere are the apparently lovely Taste of Bitter Love, Dose and Tina We Salute You, not to mention Gwilym Davies' coffee cart (on Present Street I believe)... though sadly I haven't had chance to visit any of these yet (though I will be visiting some this very weekend!).

If I had to pick one, I'd maybe go for Monmouth, but I think you'd enjoy any of the above.

A few more thoughts here... http://www.cosycoffeeshops.co.uk/london/

Enjoy! I'm looking forward to my own London trip on Sat. Unfortunately I have to fit a wedding around coffee shops.
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Postby GMRK » Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:34 pm

Bea's of Bloomsbury is probably the closest geographically, you'll find good food there as well as Square Mile coffee but it's still a bit of a walk from KingsX.

If you want a quick caffeine fix somewhere closer Sacred have a kiosk outside the Torrington Place entrance of Waterstone's Gower Street branch, you can find it in the 'Locations' section of their website.

http://www.sacredcafe.co.uk/
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Postby caf-fiene » Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:44 pm

Espresso room ! its nearest tube station is holborn so super handy. and the coffee is magic.
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Re: RE: So, if you could only visit one coffee place in Lond

Postby CakeBoy » Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:57 pm

Thiskey wrote:Enjoy! I'm looking forward to my own London trip on Sat. Unfortunately I have to fit a wedding around coffee shops.


I salute your sense of priority. Good man :P
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RE: Re: RE: So, if you could only visit one coffee place in

Postby shm » Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:15 pm

Wow, thanks for the suggestions.

I'm really keen on Espresso Room for Thursday morning and I'm not ruling out a tube ride to Bethnel Green to visit Square Mile on Wednesday afternoon, what time do coffee places usually close in London? I ask as in Edinburgh it's usually 7pm for the decent places.

I'm relying on the 'Find Me Coffee' iphone app to find stuff.
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RE: Re: RE: So, if you could only visit one coffee place in

Postby kingseven » Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:54 pm

I should probably add that we aren't really open to the public - we are just a roastery, rather than a cafe/shop.

Usually we try and accomodate visitors but the next couple of weeks are manic.
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RE: Re: RE: So, if you could only visit one coffee place in

Postby triptogenetica » Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:11 pm

But - James probably can't suggest this, as he supplies them - if you're in that part of London, Taste of Bitter Love is not far away, and serves great espresso
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Postby GMRK » Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:49 pm

Maybe I should re-phrase my original post. When I said:

GMRK wrote:Bea's of Bloomsbury is probably the closest geographically, you'll find good food there as well as Square Mile coffee


I meant Bea's serve Square Mile coffee alongside the good food, not that you'd also find good food at Square Mile Coffee.

Although I imagine James keeps himself well fed, he's just not open to the public.

Apologies for any confusion(!).
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Postby shm » Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:03 pm

Ah, ok I was confused. But nice to hear where the favorites are. Which is why I asked if you could choose only one to visit.
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Postby BillyT » Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:20 pm

Don't rule out Dose... If you want something other than just espresso based coffee, that will narrow your choices a bit...

We offer a french press, and Im pretty sure James is doing Aeropress' these days.

Stick to something near a tube, so you can sit and enjoy the experience rather than feel rushed. That said, if you're in Hackney...
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Postby smoocher » Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:18 pm

i'd bring my own french press in a thermos and go and sit in kensington gardens and look at all the good dogs.
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Postby Thiskey » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:58 pm

Back from a weekend coffee + wedding in London. Made my first visits (finally) to Tina We Salute You, Taste of Bitter Love, Nude, and Gwilym's stall off Columbia Road. Also popped in to Milk Bar. Every one serving brilliant coffee. If it hadn't been pouring with rain my girlfriend would have probably insisted on less coffee and more sight-seeing, but we were both glad to sit inside and stay dry! Lucky me.

Also had the pleasure of (briefly) meeting Gwilym and Jim... what lovely fellows.

Shm, where did you go for in the end?
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Postby Ziobeege » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:17 am

Glad you had good caffinated London weekend. You hit some excellent spots there. What would you recoomend in York?
Next time you are down - and also for any Londoners reading this post - have a look at Kaffeine of Goodge St. They are recently opened and I thought their short blacks were superb - on a par the "London elite" that I have tried (ie Dose, FW, ToBL, MB, Monmouth, Gwilyn, Tina, Sacred, F&W et al).

By the way, what do people think of Flat White - has it become just a little contrived? I have popped in there a couple of times recently but now found it becoming just a little bit too "achingly cool", with antipodean staff high fiving eachother say "yeah, cool bro", bouncing along to music that is, well yes, "cool" - and loud. The consequence of this all coolness are forgotton orders and below standard espressos when reminded. It just seems espresso is not quite their raison d'etre anymore.

This could of course be just me getting old and being a grump. And dont get me wrong I love antipodeans - they've helped the London espresso scene enormously in the past couple of years.
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Postby jossy » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:46 am

The good coffee map is a good place to start planning your trip:
http://www.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8 ... 54e8848d58

My vote goes to Espresso Room: Square Mile and HasBean coffee, prepared with love and dedication. Went to the Milk Bar recently (don't bother with Flat White as it's the same people but further from Gray's Inn) and they have a great setup but when I tasted their Square Mile special blend it was too fresh and the aroma reminded me of the smell of my kitchen after I roast.... That said, mistakes do happen and the barista was delighted that I pointed it out, proceeded to taste his own espresso and agreed with me that he had rushed the beans to the grinder a day or two too soon....

Regarding tube stations, I strongly disagree with most of the above: the best way for you to discover London's coffee shops without getting in a rush is to walk or, even better, to cycle between them. Way more relaxing than popping in and out of hell between coffees, and you'd be saving much less time than you think. Plan your cycle rides between coffee shops on http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cycling to avoid major roads.
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