As a blogger on the go and a coffee fanatic, I am always on the lookout for the best independent coffee houses. Internet and plug sockets are certainly a bonus, but if the coffee is good enough, I’m willing to sit in a cramped corner to enjoy a good blend and brew. Soho is forever introducing new and quirkier cafes, as the city’s centre for good food and drink, I thought it was about time I compiled a list of my top Soho coffee hang-outs.
1. Nude Espresso, Soho Square: Cute and cool, many believe Nude Espresso offers the best coffee in Soho. I was impressed by the silky smooth flat white and the indulgent hot chocolate.
2. Rapha Cycle Club, Brewer Street: For coffee and cycle lovers alike… careful and precise baristas make unrivalled espressos and in the shop trendy cycling gear hangs ready for the more athletic foodies to admire! Huge and light venue ideal for relaxing and reading a book.
3. Tapped and Packed, Wardour Street: My favourite place to write and think… a hazily lit, lazy lounge with low hung lights and wooden benches. Plenty of space to stretch your legs, open your laptop and wile away the afternoon browsing the net. T&P offer a wide range of coffees, so there is variety for picky customers.
4. Flat White, Berwick Street: Another tiny venue and a real coffee destination. If you can bear a crowd, the delicious coffee here really is worth fighting for. Serving a very moreish Square Mile blend.
5. Speakeasy, Lowndes Court: Hidden away behind Carnaby Street, Speakeasy is a fun venue. Great coffee, cool crowd, shame about the lack of plug sockets and internet access (bloggers beware this is not the ideal writing venue). Groovy neon artwork on the walls by Benjamin Jamie.
6. Foxcroft and Ginger, Berwick Street: Filled with arty types F&G serve flavoursome food and good coffee. I love the mismatched chairs and eclectic decor. The welcoming chatter and friendly staff make this cafe a great place to spend time alone or with friends.
7. Milk Bar: This place is hip and happening and has a following of loyal fans. Like its sister branch Flat White, Milk Bar offers a balanced blend of Square Mile coffee. The interior is cosy and familiar, a lovely place to gossip with friends.
Shopping on Oxford Street and in need of a coffee? Steer off the main road, away from Starbucks, Costa and Nero, and onto Great Titchfield Street where you will find Kaffeine… an independent Australian/New Zealander owned cafe that offers excellent, professionally made espresso coffee and loose leaf teas, as well as tempting seasonal, fresh food and baked treats.
Founded in August 2009, Kaffeine is recognised for its high standards in service, food, coffee and decor. Inspired by the cafe life so prevalent in Australia and New Zealand, it has a cool, laid back atmosphere inside but is always busy.
The menu is inspired by trips to local markets, and a belief in accessible, independent producers. The Kaffeine crew hope to provide London with food that is fresh, seasonal, colourful and irresistible. Salads, baguettes and filled foccacia sandwiches are available as well as sweet and savoury muffins. Ingredients change weekly to reflect the seasons and also to provide some variety in our lives. Super-moist chocolate brownies, blondies, Anzac biscuits and Portuguese tarts are other favourites.
When I visited for a morning coffee I found the pastries on offer irresistible… giant puffed pain au chocolate with the lightest flakiest pastry and a thick dark chocolate chunk running through the middle… perfect for dunking in a cappuccino. The coffee at Kaffeine, made with Square Mile Beans on a shiny Synesso machine, is wonderfully smooth and tasty. Expertly made by the talented baristas, my flat white was divine, so creamy and subtle that I finished it far too quickly.
More information here: http://www.kaffeine.co.uk