Coffee, Coffee

We seem to be racking up the new coffee shops in the last couple of months and so it’s time for another Mega Post.

We have been wondering the streets  and on our travels we have sort out more independent coffee shops that we think you should or shouldn’t check out.

First up Benita Bakery on Upper St, N1. This is another of the Sourdough Bakers and lunch time sandwich shops that litter Islington. 

An array of cakes and sandwiches line the window and the glass cabinets at the counter. There is a fair amount of chaos inside, at the time  of our visit there were six staff and it was still a mess. We ordered two mochas – with Oat Milk, as we are trying out Dairy Free –  It took a while to even get the order under the machine. Chaos ensued as people tried ordering lunch and were handed Pizza Slices instead of Sandwiches and Flat Whites instead of Latte’s.

There is no set waiting area, people just mill about unsure if they should sit down, or if their order is going through. As for the interior It’s deceptively long, there are steps after the counter and a number of seats and tables and a conservatory area at the back.

In all it’s not bad inside, but just a tad too confusing. As for the coffees, well they were hot, other than that they were very unimpressive and bland.. We won’t be back for seconds.

Canal No 5

We went along the Regent’s Canal last week in search of a roaming Narrowboat that sells coffee, but found it all shut up. So instead we found Canal No5. This long, narrow coffee shop in on the Towpath, just below Lock 5 (Hence the name).

We did pick the coldest, wettest, day of April, so it wasn’t at its best, the tables were all inside and we were the only ones in there.

We ordered two Mochas (with Almond Milk) and they were quickly and efficiently delivered (In our travel mugs) . The inside is quick log, with a ton of seating, clearly they expect a lot of customers on hotter days. There is a glass door halfway along that gives a good view of the basin (and the rain).

They have a selection of cakes and sandwiches at ok prices and the coffee was very hot ( a rarity these days) had taste, but not a lot. I guess you can’t have everything. 

The Pantry High Holborn.

While walking to Holborn the other week we were looking  for a coffee that didn’t come from one of the big chains. 

We almost walked past The Pantry, thinking it was just the reception to offices, (it actual is meeting rooms, event’s space, etc). But we were glad we dared to enter. The interior is a large open space, with low tables and long seating. There is a large bar, selling beers, wines, etc.

We Ordered the usual – 2 Mochas – and were quickly presented  with two hot drinks (once again in our travel mugs) and we left. Halfway across the road we marvelled at the taste.

WOW Coffee with real flavour. It was REALLY nice. Like the best coffee we have had in months.

We will be back again, soon! 

Photo courtesy of Double Skinny Macchiato*

On a lovely sunny (and warm) London Lunchtime, we found ourselves searching for lunch and coffee in WC1. Of course there were the usual suspects – Starbucks, Costa, Nero etc, but we wanted something independent. That is when we spotted Tap on Russel Square.

This coffee shop is simply a large open space with wooden benches and hanging plants and along the wall near the door a number of Belfast Sinks, covered with chopping blocks, displaying the selection of sandwiches.

We picked a couple of sandwiches which were pretty good value – all sandwiches/rolls/etc are £3.50, cakes are £.2-2.50

The sandwiches were quite good, except the Quinoa and Lentil burger, with pale coleslaw with a Pickled Onion and the Cheddar, Real Ale Chutney, with Pickled Onion and Lettuce, were both lacking any pickles.

We ordered a pair of Mochas (the usual).

while waiting for the drinks we spotted the bags of interesting coffee bean mixes on the shelf.

We got the coffees to take away (in our eco-friendly) travel mugs and went to sit in the square with the 1,000 other people, who flocked to the green because the sun was out.

This isn’t a picture after we had drunk most of the coffee, this is the whole serving, it wasn’t filled halfway, in all it must have been 200ml. A REALLY stingy serving. Which was a shame because it was actually pretty tasty, for the one mouthful we got.

What a let down it was in the end. small portions and no pickles are reason we probably won’t be back to Tap any time soon.

Well there you go more coffee, more caffeine and a mix bag of quality.

Please tell us any coffee shops we should try, by leaving comments and while you are at it, click the subscribe button and add us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

*Check out Double Skinny Mocchiato

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