Forget the fact that London is traditionally renowned for tea drinkers. In 2014 it’s the friendly bubble of coffee perking that can now be heard all across the capital. From a quick pick me up in the morning to several strong black cups to beat the 4pm slump to a leisurely cup after dinner, most Londoners now drink coffee every day.
But where to head for your caffeine fix? Haute Living has done the hard work for you. Allow us to let you in on London’s best coffee shops…
Bar Italia Coffee bars come and coffee bars go, but this little gem opposite Ronnie Scott’s is a Soho institution that has witnessed many fascinating glimpses of passing theatrical life. Bar Italia is as loved for the stories it could tell, as it is for its authentic Italian coffee. The cakes are also heavenly, so ditch the planned post Easter diet and give into temptation... Life's too short to exist solely on salads.
The Espresso Room Ben Townsend’s temple to java won Time Out’s coveted ‘Best new cup of coffee' award when it opened back in 2011 – and rightly so. The Espresso Room’s team of trained baristas rarely get things wrong. Whether you’re in the mood for a milky coffee, a macchiato, a strong espresso or something sweeter – perhaps a toffee-like 'Costa Rican brown sugar' – you can satisfy your caffeine craving at one of the two L shaped benches at this tiny, yet charming Great Ormond Street coffee bar.
Kaffeine Flocks of fans regularly return to Kaffeine and it’s not hard to see why. The shiny Synesso espresso machine – aka the Rolls Royce of espresso machines – serves up a superior range of rich espressos. That said the baristas also know how to make a fabulous flat white or full-fat latte. Kaffeine's food is fabulous too: feast on innovative salads and decadent brownies.
Patisserie Valerie Feted for its top notch coffee and delicious but naughty cakes, Patisserie Valerie also offers a tempting range of soups, salads, sandwiches and savouries. Service can be slow but it’s never hostile. This is a great place to visit for a cup of Joe and a chat with friends, before hitting Harrods and Harvey Nichols.
Workshop Coffee Co Situated at the corner of Clerkenwell Road and St John Street in Farringdon, Workshop Coffee Co is the kind of café you wished you lived around the corner from. It’s got style (expect plenty of exposed brickwork) and substance. All the usual coffee suspects feature but, while coffee is undoubtedly king, there’s also a decent wine list worth exploring in the evening. On the food front, tuck into French toast with poached rhubarb, orange mascarpone and hazelnuts for breakfast or Roasted ocean trout – a generous plate of fish on a bed of miso, ginger, lime and chilli, barley, cucumber, broad bean and fennel salad for a not so light lunch.