Perhaps you’re travelling to London with hopes of finding a British Prince Charming or an English Rose, or you and your loved one are both coffee addicts heading to the city for some old-fashioned British romance. In any case, here are some of the best coffee date spots in London for you to connect over caffeine, whether you’re after some artsy vibes or scenic views over the Thames.
In the heart of Piccadilly Circus, Picturehouse Central is a stylish cinema oozing 50s movie star glamour. Films aside, the venue features a bustling café on the ground floor, a social bar and restaurant on the first and a private members’ bar with a roof terrace at the back of the second. This should help conversations easily flow from cappuccino to wine, to screening.
An independently owned café and espresso bar, Kaffeine draws inspiration from Australian and New Zealand coffee culture. There are two great locations in London’s buzzy Fitzrovia district and each outlet features brunch plates such as quiches, sunny-side eggs on brioche toast, pastries and tarts as well as snacks such as Anzac cookies. Want more than just your average coffee date? Kaffeine also does coffee workshops where you’ll learn latte art.
Farm Girl Café
Farm Girl Café’s two locations offer different moods, so choose your spot based on how extroverted you’re feeling. Its flagship Notting Hill outlet promises respite from busy crowds along Portobello Road, complete with fresh cakes, pastries, to-die-for coffee and a doggy-friendly demeanour. Meanwhile, its newer South Kensington location is perfect if you’d like to pair your meal with a little sunshine outdoors.
The Hoxton, Holborn
Serving coffee and cocktails all day long, the lobby of The Hoxton, Holborn in central London is sophisticated and very much à la mode. Curl up in these big comfy sofas over a cup of Joe. In the evening the lobby fills up with London professionals in a relaxed and buzzing air. The restaurant within, La Cave, is all about natural wines, locally sourced bar snacks and pop-up restaurants, in case you get peckish.
Caravan King’s Cross
Located within a characterful former Victorian grain store, Caravan King’s Cross is a restaurant and café a short walk from King’s Cross St. Pancras station. It was designed with the building’s history in mind, hence its soft industrial-style dining room, open kitchen, coffee bar and on-site coffee roastery. There is an outdoor terrace on Granary Square with a lovely fountain installation. If the weather’s fine, we recommend grabbing your coffee to go and heading to the terrace before wandering around the canal.
Simplicity is the name of the game at this cosy East London bakery. Violet’s exteriors will appeal to fans of minimalism, and its shady outdoor seating area is certainly relaxing enough for a first casual date. The cakes and nibbles on the menu are made with organic or low-intervention ingredients and the dishes on offer are simple yet delicious.
Even if your date is from London, you’ll surprise them with this quirky hidden gem. Scootercaffe sits close to Waterloo Station and is a short walk from the romantic Westminster Bridge. The decor is themed around the owner’s love of vintage scooters and kept company by the resident cat. The basement is adorable and candlelit. In the evening, the place doubles up as a bar, but be warned, it’s small so avoid its peak days, Fridays and Saturdays.
Foxcroft & Ginger
Originally a bakery in Soho, Foxcroft & Ginger has moved to the up-and-coming Balham neighbourhood. Coffee and tea are served in beautiful little floral china tea cups and there is an array of brunch choices on the menu. The place is spacious and relaxing so you can both easily while time away without feeling pressured to give up your seats.
The Parlour at Fortnum & Mason
This Piccadilly Circus icon is renowned for fine foods, hampers, teas and wine; think Harrods but without the crowds of tourists. But it’s more than just a store. Inside, The Parlour serves artisanal coffee, dreamy hot chocolate and ice cream in all shapes and varieties. You can even create your own sundae. It’s a confection caffeine lover’s heaven.
Notes Kings Cross
Coffee doesn’t taste much better than at Notes. They have their own roastery, and while there are several Notes cafés across the city, the King’s Cross branch is a favourite. The area is fast gaining popularity and status with a gorgeous canal and a host of bars and entertainment. It’s a great location to explore with a date. Notes King’s Cross has two levels and is one of the quieter branches to get to know somebody. They also serve sandwiches and salads if you decide on takeaway for a picnic outside during warmer weather.
Monocle is quite the hole-in-the-wall, but what it lacks in space, it makes up for with delicious coffee and fresh pastries that melt in your mouth. Set in the posh Marylebone district, this coffee joint sits within a revamped 18th-century building. The area is cool, calm and perfect if you’d like a break from the day’s activities or want to pick up a quick snack and drink.
WatchHouse Tower Bridge
Once you’ve plumbed through history at Tower Bridge, sit down to coffee and plates such as avocado on toast, sweetcorn fritters and other exciting options at WatchHouse Tower Bridge. The store’s design is inspired by the Thames’ merchant history and features the original building pillars, so really, you’ll be sipping on your coffee with a piece of history right next to you.
Corner at Tate Modern
The riverside views from Corner, the restaurant and espresso bar at the Tate Modern, are sensational. Sip a hot or iced beverage and enjoy views of the Thames, the Millennium Bridge and the glorious St Paul’s Cathedral. Plus, it’s one of the biggest and best museums in the world for contemporary art and international modern art, so your post-coffee date activity is settled.
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This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings and updated in August 2023 by Hazel Vincent De Paul.