Sacred Cafe – Long Acre

This is a small cafe situated at the back of Staffords book shop – an amazing book shop and a decent watering hole too.

Kerry went down a more lunch related route by opting for tomato and basil soup with crusty bread and a can of orange juice. I had a decaf latte and a slice of lollipop cake…

The soup was nice, I tried it and could only agree with that, it seemed very freshly made, very filling indeed. Staff offered various different breads too, nice and friendly, more smiling, they are contagious as I hope you all know!

Nothing that can really be said about a tin of fizzy pop, they don’t really vary much from place to place, as long as not shook up and cold then what more can you ask!

My latte was good, a slight kick so sugar was added just to take the edge off a little bit. The lollipop cake was odd, not sure what was in it, seemed a little too hard for marshmallow, and it didn’t really taste of much, looked quite pretty though.

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It’s a small place so there was a rather un-English thing happening – table sharing, obviously no-one complained, that will have been done internally as we don’t talk about things like that! I am sure we will be going back, not for lollipop cake though, too look at books and see what other foods are available.

Tate Modern

There are a couple of places to eat and drink at the Tate Modern, we visited the highest such eatery as we wanted the view, and it was amazing, weather was a little overcast but still a good view and you don’t have to be a customer to enjoy it, people where just sat looking out whilst others ate picnic they had taken in – not sure if that’s strictly allowed though.

I had a decaf latte and a raspberry and coconut slice whilst Kerry had an Americano and a croissant, total of £10.10 seems about right for London so no complaints there.

The latte was amazing; very smooth and not in the least bitter, no sugar needed. It had started well as the barista cleaned that little scopp for the grounds with a brush before adding the decaf to it. It wasn’t a huge cup, but that wasn’t to be expected at a more genteel type of place, and it tasted so good I sipped and savored for as long as I could.

The raspberry and coconut slice was really nice – I wasn’t sure I would like it as I don’t know if I like coconut (my only experience with it is in coconut ring biscuits). It had a similarity to a bakewell tart, although with less pastry and coconut on top rather than almond. It crumbled in the mouth though and was the right size to be an enjoyable snack.

Kerry liked her coffee but for some odd reason it went cold rather quickly, maybe she was staring at the view too long, not sure! Her croissant was really nice but she was disappointed there was no butter to add to it, at least the staff there are friendly enough to ask.

There is a restaurant adjacent to the snack area and the menu looked reasonable, massive place too but need to get there are a decent time to get a window seat I would guess. With there being a restaurant there is also a bar for those who fancy something stronger than coffee.

I am sure we will visit again when passing that way, nice to sit and watch the passing river traffic, and to see some art if so inclined, I visited the Mark Rothko exhibits as I have a weird fascination with him and his darkness, maybe should have done that before coffee though.

Addendum

I have recently been back to this establishment, it was as much for the view over the Thames and the city beyond as a coffee, although it was exceptional, as was the white chocolate and raspberry muffin.

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Reasonably quiet on a Saturday morning too, will make sure Kerry and I go there for a breakfast in the restaurant side once fully moved to London.

Rothko after coffee was a bad idea again! Will I ever learn, art first, coffee later.

Cookies and Scream – Camden Market

Kerry opted for an Americano which I had a latte – no decaf though, I did ask nicely but their machine does not do them I was told. We also had a boswer to share. All told it was £6.80, which seemed a little expensive as I couldn’t work out the difference between prices on board and what we paid!

This was the first coffee toting establishment (of a non chain variety) that we saw at the market and I was craving a coffee by that stage, so we were committed. That commitment waned a little once trying to place an order with the staff…

No decaf mean sugar was likely to be added to my coffee, Kerry opted for regular Americano of course. Both were with soya milk – as we were told they were a vegan cafe; this is not the place for me to rant against ‘those’ people though. It was vegan and gluten free – last gluten free cake I had was fairly horrendous.

The latte was not to my taste, far too bitter and strong, added 4 sugars and it was still very strong and only just drinkable.

Kerry’s Americano was okay – she was reticent because of the “weird” milk – her word not mine. She would have liked a little extra milk, not for the lovely taste of soya but to make it a bit weaker, but she was to scared to ask, as was I!

The bowser (half brownie half biscuit) was very different. Kerry found it rather sickly – she liked the biscuit part most. I like the whole thing, the combination of squashy and crunchy worked well and balanced each other well.

Very doubtful we would go there again, there was 1 biscuit I want to try, but can get that and there go somewhere else for the coffee. Staff seemed very skilled in baking but not in customer service, almost like customers got in the way, they may have picked up on my aversion to vegan types! but we were not the only one’s who got a short shift by them. It was quite entertaining though!

Nordic Bakery – Golden Square

We had been into this establishment once before, but just to buy a cookie whilst passing, this was our first sit down with drinks and food visit – and not our last.

I had the usual decaf latte whilst Kerry opted for an Americano – we are both wildly adventurous! On the snack side Kerry had a cinnamon bun whilst I decided to try a blueberry bun. The full order was delivered to our table quickly and with a smile – smiles are good, more people should wear them.

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My latte was very smooth and the perfect strength – no added sugar, just a couple of stirs to cool it down. The blueberry bun was interesting – firstly it was not blue. I was a blueberry virgin at that point so had no from of reference, but I am still puzzled by the colour. I also question it’s claim to be a bun, it was far more like a large tart, or very large (yet soft) biscuit. Given all that it did take rather nice, and will mean I do not ignore blueberry based snacks in future.

Kerry enjoyed her coffee too, it was strong so after a few sips to make space a second tiny jug or milk was requested, strength is down to personal choice, although it is easier to adjust the strength of an Americano that a latte (more to follow on that in a future post).

She enjoyed the cinnamon bun, she did choose it thinking it would be more like a Chelsea bun, but it was far crisper than those tend to be, she enjoyed the soft inside and I helped with the crisp outside layer, not sure she’d have one of those again, but there were enough alternatives to not make that a deal breaker.

The place itself is nice, simple décor, clean, friendly staff (and all seemed appropriately Nordic too) and we felt no rush to move on. The menu did seem a touch limited but we will make future visits to see how that changes, that wont feel a chore at all. I can see it becoming my ‘go to’ coffee when in that area.