Independent coffee shop, named after a spice with aphrodisiac powers, is a real hidden gem in West London. Situated on Englands Lane close to Belsize park, this place is highly loved by locals thanks to a high quality food and friendly service. Cinnamon offers its visitors a great variety of healthy and delicious options for breakfast, weekend brunch or a quick coffee fix.
Family owned café serves Monmouth coffee and desserts prepared with organic ingredients (treat yourself for a gluten-free brownie or toasted banana loaf!). Besides traditional poached eggs on a sourdough toast and porridge, you can find very unique Persian-inspired dishes such as Persian frittata Kuku Sabzi or Grilled Aubergine with lamb and yogurt sauce. Freshly squeezed juices are made by demand, and with a little imagination you can also create an original juice mix by yourself.
Whether you are going for a business meeting, romantic breakfast, or a casual cup of flat white with a friend, Cinnamon with its minimalist design, wooden floors and tables, as well as cute ceramic dinnerware and vintage bottle-glasses, will satisfy your needs (Needless to say that this place is instagram-friendly).
£15 (2 people)
2a England’s Lane, Belsize Park NW3 4TG
020 7483 2622
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Only by looking at the entrance of the small café at Baker Street it feels like this place is somewhat unreal: seems like it was drawn in the city landscape canvas or carefully cut out from an old-fashioned sepia photography and glued to the NAME street. When you turn out to be inside the place, the magic continues: as Lewis Caroll’s Alice, who went after the White Rabbit into the hole, you are invited to follow the stairs to the downstairs level. There, the cosy interior with vintage lamps, beautiful photographs on walls, and a cosy fireplace create the atmosphere of a warm countryside house.
The menu, which is happily affordable, represents a trendy combination of organic salads, hot dishes, and desserts, including soft and moist cardamon-buns. Having its sister restaurant in Japan, Monocle also offers a variety of fusion Asian cuisine: try grilled-sandwich with deep-fried shrimps and chips on the side and a delicate green-tea cheesecake with white chocolate flakes, – and you will be left craving for more.
£15 (2 people)
18 Chiltern Street London W1U 7QA
0207 725 4388
The Monocle Café: Website / Menu / Twitter
From the playground hopscotch design greeting at the entrance to the futuristic bathrooms, when it comes to interior design, Sketch is a tough beat. The Gallery, designed by British Visual Artist, David Shrigley, is pretty in pink with a bold, comical twist. The Glade on the other hand is of an enchanted forest-type setting, whilst it is the Lecture Room & Library that has been prestigiously awarded Two Michelin Stars.
Breakfast is served in The Parlour, the first room on the right after the entrance. The colours are vibrant, like that of candy, with Louis XV seating and the crockery are simply the cutest down to the tiniest details! You have a little man daydreaming, butterflies at the bottom of a teacup and a milk jug in the form of a cow. As if it could not possibly get any more fairytale-esque, the lemon meringue tart comes with a sprinkle of glitter. Sweet pastries may compliment the ambience but eggs and smoked salmon are available too.
£24 (2 people)
9 Conduit Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG
Having previously heard of this great study space on Old Street, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a second branch in Seven Dials. Walking in, it is your typical café set-up, with seats by the bar window, facing passing pedestrians. In the basement is a comfortable lounge environment – an eclectic mix of chairs and couches as well as tables, some lower in height and tinier in size tha n others. When I dropped by on a Tuesday afternoon for a cup of matcha latte and to revise for an upcoming French exam, I found it a relaxing work environment, given that other people were on their laptops too.
Food and beverages are served on trays made up of wooden planks. Whilst I cannot say that I think much about their coffee, I really liked their relatively healthy selection of sandwiches and baked goods, which included beetroot sandwiches and slices of zucchini cakes. There was also the intriguing goat’s cheese popcorn, which I initially found to be a tad pricey for popcorn (3GBP for a tiny cup of it) but eventually gave in to my curiosity. It was good.
£30 (2 persons)
61-67 Old Street, EC1V 9HW
Almond croissants, sugar-glazed pretzels, fruit tarts, the choices go on. Maison Bertaux, London’s oldest French patisserie has been around since 1871. That’s 143 years! They were even behind the bespoke masterpiece that was Lily Allen’s wedding cake. Cakes, pastries and the rest are all baked above the shop and tearoom. Decorated with pink bunting, fairy lights, child-like scribbles on the mirrors and an assortment of things on the piano, it is a charming little oddity in the midst of rowdy Soho pubs. Things may get a little busy in the evenings but at half past 9am on a weekday, the quaint patisserie was endearingly quiet save for the barely audible discussion about Wimbledon between two elderly men.
£9 (2 persons)
28 Greek Street, London W1D 5DQ