Let me tell you about my five top London coffee shops.
Flat White, 17 Berwick Street, Soho
This one is all about the excellent coffee. Which is not to say that it doesn’t have good ambiance and I like their snacks also. It’s small and you might have to wait for a table, but they don’t mind if you linger a while. And the coffee is great.
Bar Italia, 22 Frith Street, Soho
This one is about the ambience, history, people-watching and coffee. A true Italian style café with the long bar inside (which you have to walk through the middle of to find the bathrooms), get a table outside and have the quintessential Soho tour right from your seat as you sip a proper Italian coffee.
Princi, 135 Wardour Street, Soho
Bringing the spirit of Milan to London this is all about the cakes. Huge slabs of unbelievably indulgent cake. The other food is good too, as the crowds prove. The ordering system is odd but the coffee is good.
Tate Modern Espresso Bar, 4th level
The food is not fabulous, the coffee is not going to change your world, but the view will. This is one of my favourite places in London – there is a terrace where you can look out over the Thames, St Paul’s Cathedral, Millennium Bridge, all those rooftops and towers and spires of London. Isn’t that why we’re in this city?
London Review Cake Shop, 14 Bury Place, Bloomsbury
A slightly hidden gem near the British Museum. This place I love largely because of the bookstore it’s attached to. Perhaps I might break the rule here and have one of their excellent teas. And a lavender cookie – yum.