Is this London's Best Cafe?
Walk down any British high street these days and you'll probably be able to count at least 5 or 6 different cafes and coffee shops. Ranging in size and style from the independents to the chain stores. Cafe culture has increased to such a level that in London alone there are....(lots!) It's actually impossible to count as there seems to be a new one open everyday! As an example, the largest of the major chain cafes in the UK; Costa, have over 1500 dotted around the UK! And that's just one chain, not forgetting Starbucks, Cafe Nero and the others I've forgotten.
|Courtyard of Espresso Base - taken by the author|
Our Insatiable Thirst!With such an insatiable thirst for coffee, hot chocolate and smoothies its no wonder that this industry accounted for £7.9bn in 2015 to the UK economy (source: Daily Telegraph). The trouble is are they any good? We all know what the large cafe providers are like, and what they offer, so many of us play safe and go to them, myself included. However the real treats are really found in unexpected places and are often small independently run establishments. Whilst out on one of my London strolls, I came across Espresso Base. Having tried a coffee or two and met with its owner, I can say that this is a cafe you really need to seek out if you're in London. Is this London's best cafe? Quite possibly.
This is no ordinary cafe, and here's why.
1) It's an outside cafe. Perfect when to sun shines.
2) It's next to a splendid church on Bloomsbury Road and has an amazing courtyard (about 5 minutes walk from the British Museum.)
3) The coffee is fantastic and made with love and passion, really.
4) The owner (Gennaro) wants you to taste the coffee in the right way; without sugar! You have to pay extra to have it.
It's in the perfect location, set in the churchyard of St George's Church. Large office buildings dwarfing. It's a great way to fill a space, that would otherwise be left to gather rubbish. Lined with wooden chairs and table, the epicentre of the cafe is hidden under the canvas shell at the rear. I hope the pictures of its grounds do it justice? I could have happily sat there for hours looking for all the little nuances, like the chalk board signs and the ornaments that are hidden away, looking to be discovered.
This is a cafe that requires your full attend, from the moment you order your drink to sitting down and enjoying the churchyard. Think about it, how often do we really take notice of the surroundings in a Costa or Cafe Nero? They are so generic and uninspiring. Espresso Base certainly isn't. A word of warning, its not open every day (Fri - Sun), and is closed from around 4pm. Check the twitter link for full details https://twitter.com/espresso_base
Its perhaps best to leave with one of the quotes from the cafes many customers (see below). Couldn't sum it up any better myself. So our call to action is to seek out this gem, give it a try and then decide for yourself, and let us know. I love it, the person on the message board loves it, I'm sure you will love it. Happy coffee drinking.
Where's your favourite cafe? Or perhaps you think you have the best coffee in London? Why not drop us a comment and I'll come and test it out.