London, compared to other cities, including Melbourne, doesn't have a very good coffee scene. Surprisingly enough, I include tea in that category as well. As well as stereo-typically English it is to drink Earl Grey, good luck finding a good place for that. Yet cafes are such an important enabler of our cultures - whether it's a first date, a quick gossip session with your best friend, or you need to do some actual work - it is cafes that help us out most.

Best Food

Cafe Le Cordon Bleu

I expected the cafe of one of the top culinary schools in the world to be teeming with life, yet the place was eerily empty and it rarely receives much attention on the blogosphere. Time had come to explore this hidden gem in Bloomsbury Square.

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Mantovani 1946

As “ice-cream” rolled off the imaginary tongue of my mind, thoughts of warm halcyon¬†days¬†arose, equipped with the generic flavoured frozen water we call gelato. Few understand the full potential that ice-cream can have within gastronomy, with notable names such as Heston Blumenthal being one, but it seems Mantovani 1946 also understand that this can truly be an art.

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Best People Watching

Everbean

I must admit, I am often tricked into going to coffee houses either because of ingenious names or hot guys that are sitting there. Or, if not, at least the potential of people watching (which, in a city like London, is both horrific and awe-inspiring in the same time). All of those combined so smoothly at Everbean.

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Best Tea

Best for Working

Timberyard (Covent Garden)

Often we need a place for a specific kind of activity: romantic date, impressive view for drinks with people we secretly hate and want to let them see how amazing we’ve been doing, and, at times, for an anti-social retreat to a place with WiFi and sockets. In this new series of places I go deeper into the tea/cake/coffee/WiFi scene of London.

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Best Unique Concept

Traveling Through

 

Waterloo – while incredibly central – has always seemed a bastion of desolation once you move away from the riverside. Few of my friends could be said to have ventured in this area beyond just going to university (King’s has a campus there). Yet Lower Marsh street is teeming with cafes that are quirky and interesting, waiting to be explored and enjoyed.

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The Poetry Cafe

In Discworld, it would often be explained how a large collection of magical books would distort the time and space around it. I think that’s applicable to our own world and books in general, or, at least, of cafes that center themselves around literature. There’s just a completely different vibe, call it quaintness, call it elitism, but it’s there and it’s great.

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