One of the joys of getting around London on a bike is undoubtedly the sheer variety of pubs, shops and not least cafes that you discover on your way between Hackney and Camden, Brixton and Richmond. In my case, that has also helped me find some great cafes across town. Places that would have taken long to find as a traveller on tubes and busses … now I came across the handy little book ‘Cafe Life London’ by Jenny Milsom that compiles a good bunch of very nice cafes, hand-picked by the creators of the book.
The book is made into 5 chapters, looking at classic London cafes, hip new wave cafes serving anything from Flat White to Double Piccolos, and traditional tea rooms. Each cafe gets a nice write up of no more than 3 pages including some interesting facts about the owners, the history, the concept of a place. Nothing too shallow, nothing too deep, just the right level of detail that you need to decide on whether you want to visit a place or not. And being a cafe lover, you will want to, more often than not.
A few days ago I went down to the ‘Notes Music & Cafe’ in Covent Garden. The place gets a nice write up in the book, praising the excellent espresso and the relaxing atmosphere. And indeed, having a muesli breakfast while listening to classic music is a special start to the day. The espresso gets excellent marks indeed. However, only the pricing seemed a bit pompous. My single espresso and muesli (which was a bit on the dry side – 4 spoons of muesli, topped by 2 spoons of Greek Yoghurt) set me back by £6.20. A cafe well worth it, but the food has hefty price tags. Nevertheless, a place worth visiting, just for the coffee and the ambient, especially if one is tired of the ambient noises that some other cafes choose as default background noise.
Next to visit will be ‘Kaffein’ in Fitzrovia … watch this space …