You may remember some time ago we ran a competition for a press trip to New York. We were so impressed with all of our shortlisted bloggers, we decided we offer all our runners up the chance to write a guest post for us.
First up is Rick Nunn, a young graphic designer and passionate photographer. Last year he undertook a '365' project, shooting a different image every day of the year for his Flickr stream, so we knew a photoblog from him would be something special. Here he trains his camera on his other great passion, coffee, with the backdrop of London town...
"A few times a year I try and get down to London to enjoy some of the new and existing independent specialist coffee shops. There is an amazing culture surrounding these fantastic places and a healthy level of competition that means you’re rarely disappointed."
1. Fernandez and Wells Espresso Bar— St Anne’s Court, Soho
A chic little coffee shop in Soho, tucked away on St Anne’s Court; if you weren't looking for it you would miss it. F&W’s renowned speciality is the ‘stumpy’ — a triple ristretto and textured milk in a six ounce glass. The establishment’s sister Food & Wine Bar and Café are nearby.
Near: Wardour Street, Berwick Street (market and record shops)
Clientele: tourists, hipsters, young professionals
2. Tapped & Packed — 26 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia
A new addition to the area, Tapped & Packed has a fantastic atmosphere with regularly changing exhibits of modern painting and photography on its walls. An impressive espresso menu is complimented by variety of ‘single origin’ coffees.
Near: Tottenham Court Road Station, The Roxy bar & nightclub
Clientele: hipsters, young professionals
3. Kaffeine — 66 Great Titchfield Street
An easygoing Australian/New Zealand-owned shop set back a little off Oxford Street, Kaffeine is a long time firm favourite of mine. The staff are genuinely friendly and helpful and will happily tell you about their Synesso espresso machine, the ‘holy grail’ of coffee making equipment.
Near: Oxford Street, Oxford Circus, Scandinavian Kitchen Clientele: young professionals, tourists, writers, freelancers
4. Milk Bar — 3-5 Bateman St, Soho
Milk Bar is the sister shop to the well-known Flat White and they are the only two shops to have their own custom espresso blend from London-based speciality coffee roasters Square Mile. The latte art is some of the best I’ve seen and Milk Bar is also one of the best places in Soho to get a good seat.
Near: Tottenham Court Road Station, Ronnie Scott’s Typical Clients: Hipsters
5. LJ Coffee House — Winnett St, Soho
Situated in the heart of Soho, among theatres, lively pubs and sex shops, LJ Coffee House is something of an oasis. A small but well-used space, it even has some comfy sofas as well as tables and stools and coffee making is treated as an art here.
Near: Piccadilly Circus, Queens Theatre
Clientele: coffee aficionados, tourists, the Soho gay and theatre crowd
6. Caravan Restaurant, Bar and Roastery — 11-13, Exmouth Market
Caravan is primarily a restaurant, specialising in breakfast and brunch, but they have a very strong coffee offering. In recent months they’ve started roasting their own coffee on site, in the basement, so you know you’re getting something unique.
Near: Exmouth Market, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Farringdon Station
Clientele: artists, writers, tourists, young couples
7. Dose Espresso — 69 Long Lane
2 minutes walk from the Barbican station, Dose packs in a lot of character for a tiny place. They serve a great, super fresh, organic breakfast menu, everything is ethically sourced and the coffee is once again from London roasters Square Mile.
Near: The Barbican Centre
Clientele: young professionals, locals, theatre, arts and concert goers
8. Prufrock — 40 Shoreditch High Street
Near: Brick Lane. Old St.
Clientele: coffee aficionados
All photos © Rick Nunn. Header image: espresso machine at Fernandez and Wells.
What do you think about Rick's selection? Do you have any coffee shop recommendations of your own? Let us know in the comments section below.
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About the author: andrewAndrew Bowman
Andrew is an occasional contributor to the Virgin Atlantic blog. He lived in the Japanese countryside for two years until he could no longer resist the pull of London's galleries, pubs and clubs. He likes to pretend he can speak Japanese and also sometimes writes about music.