Spring is here and I am charmed.
I was thinking, while having an espresso at this little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop on Sunday, that I should make a list of those kinds of places too. My piece on cafés in Flamingo Magazine includes only the ones with room to sit around for ages, and while I maintain that is a vital element, that doesn’t change the fact that some of the best and cutest coffee houses in London are about the size of a thimble. Like these:
Betty’s, Dalston (510b Kingsland Road, E8 4AE)
Adorable Betty’s. It’s on the thoroughfare towards Kingsland Waste Market on the weekend and it’s a good mix. A pleasant café with good beans, from Monmouth I think. Interesting art too.
Towpath Café, Haggerston (Between Kingsland Road and Whitmore Road bridges)
When the shutters are down you really can’t tell it’s there, but when the sun’s out this little place is a gem. The Regent’s Canal’s just a metre away, and the stuff in the cup is Caffe Piansa from Florence. But who needs Italy when spring’s around the corner.
Violet, Hackney (47 Wilton Way, E8 3ED)
I’m partial to Violet because of the little flavour bomb cakes they sell alongside their coffee. There’s San Francisco sourdough bread too. It’s the sort of place that reminds me why I live here.
Taylor Street Baristas, Spitalfields (1a New Street, EC2M 4TP)
Just for takeaway this, but it’s good and it’s right across the street from Liverpool Street Station. I’m all for going out of my way for something authentic but sometimes it’s good when quality comes and sets up shop right in your path.
Monmouth Coffee, Covent Garden (27 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9EU)
This is the queen of coffee and we all recognise this – I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t think so. The place is tiny and always crammed, the queue is out the door and you have to wait fifteen minutes to get your drink. We wouldn’t put up with this from anyone else.