This week, we thought we would highlight some of our favourite independent coffee shops in London (and one delicious afternoon tea – in case you get fed up of coffee). Independent coffee shops have sprung up everywhere recently, but who’s complaining? When you need to get some work done, nothing beats an oatmilk latte, the compulsory avocado and chilli on sourdough bread and free wifi.
Winner of Time Out’s Most Loved Coffee Shop 2015, this stripped back hangout would make any blogger feel at home. The lovely owner, Fiona Thompson (see our interview), has travelled the world in search of the best coffee beans and has also incidentally found some of the best cake (baked in house – try the Chocolate Guinness). They serve a delicious brunch menu on Saturdays (get there early) and you can catch up on the news with all the latest weekend papers.
This quaint and quirky cafe was named the UK’s Best Coffee Shop in 2015. They boast a wonderful selection of loose leaf teas as well as lovely coffee and delicious cakes (try the red velvet and banana chocolate). This coffee shop definitely lives up to its name with travel guides from all four corners (!) of the globe available to browse and pictures of little men (plastic men) visiting far away countries flashing up on a giant screen.
Grounded Coffee Company is just a few doors away from its more famous sibling the Exmouth Coffee Company. Boasting a serious smoothie, brunch, baked goods and healthy food offering (roast chicken with couscous salad and pumpkin anyone?), this local cafe has a very homely and friendly vibe. If you are a non-pork eater you are in for a treat as the cafe is entirely halal. Set yourself up in one of the comfy booths or at a communal table and pick up some interesting independent brand produce on your way out.
If you want to find somewhere serious about coffee, then look no further than Ozone Coffee Roasters. Taking up two floors of a giant warehouse in East London, not only do they have an impressive in-house coffee roastery, they also serve a delicious all day menu (til’ late) and brunch at the weekends (you know these guys mean business when their omelette comes with sweet potato and purple kale). Move from coffee to cocktails on weekdays.
Following the success of the original Caravan in Exmouth Market, the team have set up shop (and their own in-house roastery) in new and spacious Granary Square in King’s Cross. This place is packed to the rafters on weekends but don’t despair, take your numbered bag of coffee and enjoy your smoothie – trust us it will be worth the wait. With a delicious and innovative menu (we had the teriyaki crab omelette – beautiful) and Grade II listed exposed brickwork, these guys know how to make brunch feel like an experience.
If you get fed up of coffee and are looking for somewhere that specialises in giant dream cakes and innovative little cookie / biscuit / cake creations (“biskies”), then look no further than Cutter & Squidge (check out our interview with the founders Annabel and Emily Lui). Now with a permanent shop in Soho and an incredible afternoon tea (allowing you to sample everything… and we mean everything they have to offer) who can resist?