3 Launceston Pl, Kensington, London W8 5RL, UK
Hjem, pronounced 'gem', is Danish for home. Marianne, the owner of this lovely, little café which opened in December 2017, is from Denmark and has successfully created a sense of 'hjem' with a blend of great coffee, organic food, and tasteful decor. Indeed, it's no surprise that Marianne has a background in interior architecture – this café is full is deft touches, such as the deep, dark green back wall, set against an otherwise white room, that matches the colour of the coffee machine. The layout is simple and makes the most of a relatively small space; the back room is calm and quiet, while the front room bustles with customers coming and going, and a gentle hubbub of chat.
The coffee is from Climpson & Sons and is well handled. The café serves its own, home-made almond milk, made with 25% organic almonds, which gives a creamier, richer texture than the generic almond options found elsewhere. Food is also organic where possible, and there's a distinctly Danish vibe to the rye bread open sandwiches and some of the pastries – avocado, eggs, and other breakfast options are also available, and baked goods come from the Bread Station in Hackney.
This charming venue, set off the beaten track in a largely residential area but only a short walk from Gloucester Road and High Street Kensington stations and Hyde Park, is well worth a detour. Great coffee, a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere, and carefully selected and presented food options – truly a home from home.
Review: Alex Stewart
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