The City Cafe guide
The City of London, within what is known as the Square Mile, is serviced by a network of efficient cafes - often tucked away, always hard working - fueling all those high powered business meetings. Chloe Callow uncovers the best coffee options below.
This is as fine an example of a cafe as you’ll ever find. Association offers a harmonious balance of great coffee, a well sourced, succinct food menu (those Little Bread Pedlar pastries!) and utterly charming service. The design is subtly gorgeous, taking reference from its surroundings and reinterpreting them into somewhere that’s a joy to spend any amount of time in.
Nearby Curators is one of London’s best kept secrets. This small cafe’s thoughtfully designed wood interior frames the attractive customised teal-cased machinery. Look out for illustrations by their remarkably talented barista, Tim Shaw, and a first rate cascara tea in the summer.
Hidden down an alley just behind the Monument, this Taylor Street location is a real treat of a cafe, and my favourite of their growing number. A classroom style interior sets the scene for an educational coffee gallery, the style and theme of which changes every couple of months. An evolving cafe, if you will, whereby you’re unlikely to get the same experience more than a handful of times.
Notes have quickly established themselves as one of London’s best roasters, as such, it was with a touch of surprise that their Moorgate branch opened in an almost stealth-like fashion, springing up all of a sudden, where one of their carts had recently stood nearby. It’s a formidable space within City Point, with plenty of light, an impressive bar and a menu that caters to the locale superbly.
This charming flagship cafe of London roasters Alchemy sits on the tranquil, cobbled streets of Ludgate Broadway just opposite St Paul’s. There is always a good selection of beans on offer as espresso-based drinks and filter, often with an interesting focus on a particular bean’s processing. The shop is as bright as its enthusiastic staff and, more often than not, bustling with a steady stream of customers.
The Wren is a coffee bar that inhabits Sir Christopher Wren’s St Nicholas Cole Abbey and it is as stunningly beautiful as you might imagine. A grand, clean, bright and unfussy space is the ultimate escape from a hectic schedule and a well prepared Workshop coffee.
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