Coffee House – Abbey Wood Station

The station at Abbey Wood is being refurbished ready for Crossrail to launch at the end of the year, as part of that it now has a posh entrance and in the foyer is a Coffee House, it is part of WHSmith and felt rather ‘Costa’ to me but tried not to hold that against it.

I had a cappuccino and a pain au chocolat, food range wasn’t huge but pastry was only £1 when bought with coffee, which was a nice small bonus. Pain au chocolat was okay, soft and fresh but pretty much the same as you can buy in multi-packs at most supermarkets.

Coffee nice enough, I was getting a train and it lasted me a fair while, which is what I was hoping for, can have the more fancy, and smaller serving, when time to chill out.

There was some seating in the cafe so if waiting longer for a train it would be a bit warmer than being on the station. Could be a busy little place once Crossrail gets going and amount of trains using the station increases, I may well avail myself of it when I am there again, got a loyalty card now so need to earn the freebie.

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Poster Bar – Royal Academy or Arts – Burlington Arcade

I was out doing some birthday shopping for Kerry so coffee destination was my choice, Mayfair doesn’t have a huge selection to choose from but I knew this was available and near where I was so an easy choice.

I had a cappuccino and a milk biscuit, there was a small sweet treat selection and the biscuit intrigued me – it was a good 6 inches long and bigger is better. Slight confusion with the coffee when barista asked if I wanted milk, that confused me and the girl serving, made everyone smile at least.

Coffee was nice, had to soften the bitterness with a touch of sugar but not a bad thing – I was on a mission so good to be able to get drunk a bit quicker. The biscuit was really nice, very hard to describe the taste but a tasty treat.

The seating area isn’t the biggest but there is a large area outside so after sorting drink out and eating biscuit I went and sat on the steps and enjoyed the warmth.

Would definitely go back, don’t need to pay to go into the RA to get coffee, and Kerry would jump at it as close to Bond Street, her spiritual home!

Eric Kayser – Paris (Rue Depart)

 

We had a short break in Paris recently so had to hunt out somewhere for coffee and cake of course. Oddly that took quite a while, think we were looking in the wrong place but will try harder next time!

We did find this establishment though, Kerry opted for a tarte caramel (left in the picture) whilst I had the choco noisette, and we both just had a white coffee as there were no options available such as latte or cappuccino and didn’t even ask about decaf.

The coffee was decent, nothing special really. The cakes were amazing though, mine looked very sweet but wasn’t, seemed to be top quality chocolate which was nice and dark. Kerry didn’t think she could eat all hers as she said it was very rich, but she managed it over time. There were many other cakes of course, and we later realised it was a bit of a chain, which in hind sight it did look like.

The staff didn’t speak much English which is our problem not theirs, but they could have enforced the queue a little better! Place was very clean and in a good spot as directly across from Montparnasse Tower which has a very high observation deck so is a bit of a tourist attraction.

Won’t aim to visit again but if in Paris and see another of these I would try a different cake, but in a new city there are limitless places to try of course.

Brill – Exmouth Market

Never been to this area of the city but had to as was bike shopping and the pop-up I was visiting was about to close. Good opportunity to try a coffee somewhere new being a bonus, and with nice niece too, not that I have a not nice niece.

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It is rather snug inside, squeezing in a few seats, the counter and a music shop. More seating at the front, and out the back, we opted for the back seating as front was quite busy. We both had white chocolate and pecan cookie and whilst Alice had a latte I had a cappuccino.IMG_20180415_140658
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Drinks were brought out to us, which took a little time but wasn’t in a rush so no complaints. Just meant holding back from the cookie until it arrived – need to sip the coffee before starting the food, I’m odd like that.

Both drinks were regular but surprised by the size when they arrived – seen lattes half that size as a regular, same with the cappuccino so very happy with that (pig in the background of that picture wasn’t feeling very well so didn’t want anything to eat or drink, he has some Reece’s Pieces in the bag in case he got peckish).

Coffee was really nice, strong but not bitter, no need for any sweetening, and lasted ages due to the size. Both enjoyed the cookie too, not much can go wrong with a big biscuit really, pecan doesn’t have a very strong taste so more just a chocolate cookie.

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Really liked the place, very relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff and nice to have the outside area all to ourselves, will make the effort to visit the area again as there were at least 4 other coffee places to try in the same road, might be hard not just to go back to Brill though. It was brill.

Soho Coffee Co. – Waterloo Bridge / Strand

After a visit to an exhibition we were in an area of town less visited and needed a coffee (Kerry always needs a coffee of course) and happened across Soho Coffee luckily.

Kerry had a latte with and extra shot and I had a decaf cappuccino – my current drink of choice. Kerry didn’t want anything to eat but once I saw the rainbow cake there was no other choice, and at that point Kerry decided she would have a little bit too, hmmm. Total price £9.10 which is acceptable.

The coffee was very nice, decent sized cups and a lovely smooth roast. Kerry enjoyed hers too, although I didn’t ask her right away and she drinks so much coffee only the really horrible stuff stays in her mind really.

The cake was superb, soft sponge and perfect ration or cake to frosting. Could be classed as too nice as Kerry’s “little bit” turned into about half the cake, next time I will know better, making sure there is only one for for starters, lol.

The place itself was nice, friendly staff and clean without feeling antiseptic. Lots of wood and white brick, not too trendy, just nice. After we left and wandered about we saw another and since looking a bit further turns out to be a mini chain, a good thing if they are all of the same standard, and makes filling the loyalty card and getting free coffee that much easier too.

London Grind – London Bridge

This was a trip with Alice as Kerry was off riding a camel, as you do.

I expected just a coffee shop but it is a fully blown restaurant – post visit research says it was expanded so I was right, just out of date. We took a seat at the counter, tables seemed to be for pre-bookings, although that may depend on what day you go I suppose. Whilst we were there there was never a spare seat so clearly a popular place on a Sunday.

I had a decaf latte and a brownie – in my defense the cake option was limited so I had to go back on my promise not to have brownies. Alice ordered a skinny latte but we think she got a flat white, which is kind of the same I guess, she also had smashed Avocado with poached eggs and chili on toast.

The coffee was really nice – drinking form a glass always seems to add to the enjoyment! Not the largest cup I’ve ever had but it was a tad too bitter so was sipped and savoured rather than sweetened and gulped. Brownie was nice too, soft and chewy, no crunch.

Alice’s smashed avocado with poached eggs, and chili on toast was good, 1 egg was runny one wasn’t. It came with a lemon wedge too.

The place itself used to be a bank but now it is exposed brick painted white, simple and cool without tripping into hipster – apart from the moustaches on the staff…

E16 Coffee – The Excel

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The Excel is a massive place, but only needs to be visited when at an event really, so I have visited a few times but rarely actually settled down in the communal areas until recently for long enough to actually enjoy a drink.

There are a few different places to get food and drink from, including Costa (their coffee is still horrible as I was semi-forced to visit one a week ago) so I went for E16. I had a latte and chocolate brownie which ran to £5.00 – good deal that. And I accept I said I’d avoid brownies but food options were a little limited at the time I visited. There are a couple of the stands in the communal areas and the food does differ between them but this was the closest to where I was.

The coffee was very nice, I added sugar just to take the edge off. The brownie was very nice, had a very slight bitterness to it which I liked.

I will quite happily go there again when at the next event.

Bageriet – Rose Street

This is tucked up an alley next to Stanfords book shop in Soho and I stumbled across it whilst heading to a different coffee purveyor – the cakes in the window attracted me like a moth to a flame. It is a Swedish bakery so not the standard brownies, muffins or cookies on offer.

It is small but they pack in a lot of variety, must have been a good 20 different products, there was a couple next to me who seemed to be trying to work through them all too! I opted for a chocolate hazelnut brioche and a cappuccino and took my seat at one of the 2 tables – it is only just big enough to fit 2 tables in so quite cosy.

My coffee took a little while to arrive but I wasn’t overly bothered as I was admiring the cakes. When it did arrive the coffee as very nice, good sized mug and coffee on the right side of bitter. But to be honest I was more interested in the cake, and it did not disappoint!

It was tricky to get out of the case, I cut in half and then levered at it and managed to get most of it, very soft and very little chocolate, which I was sad at, but it was so light any more and it would have been too sweet. After I had finished it I had to try to pickle as much as I could from the case.

The staff were very friendly and as everything is baked on sight fresh goodies kept been put out which were very tempting. They had a saffron bun which piqued my interest but I had Christmas shopping to do, just hope they have them when I return as they vary the produce so may be totally different offerings in a few weeks – all the more reason to visit again, and again, and again…

Rapha – Spitalfields

I have a complicated relationship with Rapha – I find them rather pretentious with their expensive kits aimed at the ex-golfers but then they have nice cakes!

It’s not too far from work and I was on a half day so seemed sensible to take the opportunity to give it a whirl, on my own this time. I had a latte and a brownie, in a previous post I said no more brownies but I am not posting quite in the order I visited each place so there will be more to come too.

 

The brownie was nut as well as chocolate so had more of a bite but was nicely chewy, no real crispness to the top though. The coffee was okay, it isn’t my favourite but does the job and comes in nice mugs.

Kerry isn’t a fan of the bitter Rapha coffee so doubt I will get her to visit and although it isn’t my favourite part of me just wants to belong so sure I will visit again at some point. They do offers, like a drink and cake for £4, which seems very un-Rapha but is the sort of thing that would attract me in the future.

The place felt much more relaxed than the Soho clubhouse, very similar decor but being less central made it feel more chilled out. Didn’t feel like I was in anyone’s way or in a rush to drink up and get out. It has a nice outside area that’s within the Spitalfields market so still dry but better for people watching.

Curators Coffee Gallery – Margaret Street

 

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This is just a few minutes away from Oxford Street and Regent Street but is in a nice quiet street away from the hustle and bustle. I’d past it before but had usually just had a drink elsewhere so hadn’t popped in.

I had a latte and a brownie. On the coffee front there are a variety of roasts on offer – I just had the house espresso but as you can see from the picture this can change. I am going to learn more about the different origins at some point so I can be more of a coffee snob, but until that happens I am happy to stick to what the barista provides.

The coffee was stunning, so smooth and had to really make an effort to savour it. That was helped by the brownie also being excellent, soft with a slight crispness to the top. I am going to have to stop having brownies as everyone one just seems better and the last and I know that that cannot last, one day I will be hit with a dud and that will spoil what came before!

The staff were very friendly without being over bearing. It always makes me smile when I see ‘regulars’ in places like that – I really must start to visit the excellent coffee hut near work and see if I can get a ‘the usual’ from the staff there! The place is effortlessly cool, I didn’t venture to the downstairs area but where I was it was bright and airy.

I will be going back and taking Kerry when I do, a second opinion can never hurt and gives me an excuse (should one be needed) to visit once again.