It’s been awhile since we have done a coffee shop review, so let’s put that right!
And to boot we have another guest review from Bruffin included.
We have been out and about to quite a few places recently, but we haven’t found too many new, independent cafés to post about. So instead we’ve decided to do a mega post featuring cafés in department stores, chain eateries and small shops alike (a real mix bag) but were worth telling you about.
So let’s start with a random one. Recently we took a trip to Little Sweden AKA IKEA in Tottenham and while there we felt the need, the need for coffee.
Honestly we didn’t hold out much hope for the Swedish Cafe’s attempts at coffee, but would you believe, it’s actually good, no not good really good. So much so, that upon a return (because something was wrong – lacking screws or the wrong size, you know the deal! – we detoured back there for a second go.
Recently Bruffin took a break from all that sewing and met friends for a coffee, they chose KHP on the edge of Stoke Newington and were amazed at how bad it was.
The Latte was served in a boden cup, the ones that are doubled so it looks like a large cup but is only really the size of an espresso and cost £3.00. As we were quite hungry we looked at the sandwiches, the waitress couldn’t tell us what was in them so we had to try and hope for the best. The sandwich was a combination of humus and sauerkraut, it seemed as though she’d looked in the fridge that morning to see what was expiring first or what was left and used that as a filling. We gave up on the sandwich as it was disgusting and at £4.50 you would have thought it would have been edible. We instead went for the Orange polenta cake, Wrong choice! It didn’t taste of anything! Except sawdust!
All in all the food and drink was expensive, inedible, the only positive was that they didn’t mind us staying and chatting.
Next up is another of the large department stores we found ourselves in during a visit to John Lewis in Oxford St.
Unlike the surprise of IKEA this turned out less than satisfactory, the coffee was alright, nothing special. We had a voucher for Coffee and Cake, so we tried it out, The coffee however wasn’t hot and it was very much, builder’s cafe frothy milky, mhukkk. As for the cake well, the grapefruit cake, it was really dry and tasted of nothing except the sugar sprinkles on the top of the frosting and the carrot cake was dry like it had sat out on display for a few days and the frosting was sickly saccharine but lacked any ‘flavour’. A terribly disappointing experience.
We went to Camden and tried to find an independent café rather than just run to Caffe Nero as we usually do, so while perusing the very touristy market and failing to find anything alternative we walked through this new addition.
Café Loren is under the bridge (near enough) and has a small indoor seating area, as well as some outside benches, but all were filled. They had a number of Time Out and local press reviews on the walls commenting on their food, but on the day we only had time for a coffee, but did like the look of the Shakshuka dishes.
However we ordered a Mocha and a Hot Chocolate and waited… and waited… and waited. It honestly took ten minutes, maybe more for two drinks, we suspect the reason the seating was filled was due to people waiting to be served and get their food. (Of course if you state you are with Time Out we suspect you don’t have to wait!) Well eventually we got our drinks and well it wasn’t worth the wait, the Hot Chocolate was once more like those builder’s cafe drinks, you know all milk, really pale colour and not flavour. The Mocha wan’t the worst ever, but wasn’t be any means good either.
We need to mention one coffee in particularly that of Waitrose.
If you shop in the supermarket at all and you find yourselves in Waitrose and have a Loyalty Card, you can get a free tea or coffee every time you make a purchase (even just 20p), They have Hot water (for tea bags), Filter coffee, Cappuccino and Latte on offer and the coffee is good, well worth signing up for that card!
Finally we stumbled across Benugo in Hanover Street needing some lunch and an energy boost.
We timed it wrong, hitting the lunch time chaos, the place was absolutely packed! The selection was pretty good for the vegetarian options. We took a couple of sandwiches and a pair of Mochas and went for a very long walk to find somewhere to sit. The service was quick but there were fifteen members of staff so that was to be expected. The coffee was hot! however it was another one of those decent but not wow coffee, which seems to be the norm now.
We seem to find that almost everywhere you go nowadays the coffee is either weak, frothy, tepid, ashy/burnt and bland or just Ok but nothing special.
Do you have a favourite we haven’t tried yet? Tell us about it in the comment section. Check out our Instagram and see what we have saved to Pinterest recently (click buttons to the right). Also take a look back at old reviews, posts and stories too. Subscribe to get the latest post direct to your email at the end of every week.