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. Here are 15 of the best coffee date spots in London for you to connect over caffeine.
In the heart of Piccadilly Circus, Picturehouse Central is a stylish cinema oozing 50s movie star glamour. Films aside, the venue features a bustling cafe on the ground floor, a social bar and restaurant on the first, and a private members’ bar with roof terrace at the back of the second. This should help conversations easily flow from cappuccino to wine, to screening.
The Trocadero, Shaftesbury Ave, Piccadilly
2. Chez Elles
Take your date to Paris for a few hours! Chez Elles is a very French bistro in Brick Lane, East London. Founded by Nadia and Aurelie, who met on the Eurostar, it is full of chic boutique charm. They serve traditional French cuisine with a wonderful range of freshly made cakes and pastries to go with your coffee.
45 Brick Lane, London
Originally a bicycle repair shop, Look Mum No Hands! doubles up as a quirky cafe. The delicious coffee beans come from East London coffee roasters, Square Mile. The food served includes traditional pies, salads and baked potatoes. It’s a lovely unique bicycle-themed atmosphere that may inspire a couple to take a ride around the local area afterwards.
49 Old St, London
4. Hoxton Hotel
Serving coffee from the Holborn Grind, the lobby of this central London hotel is sophisticated and very much a la mode. Get to know one another 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 British restaurant within, Hubbard & Bell serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (and brunch), in case you both get peckish.
199–206 High Holborn
Located within a Grade II listed Victorian grain store, Caravan King’s Cross is a restaurant and cafe a short walk from King’s Cross St Pancras station. It was designed with the building’s history in mind with a soft industrial-style dining room, open kitchen, coffee bar and on-site coffee roastery.
There is an outdoor terrace on Granary Square with a pretty fountain installation. We recommend grabbing your coffee in take-out cups and sitting on the terrace before a wander around the canal.
1 Granary Square
6. Flat Planet
A cosy cafe just behind busy Oxford Street, Flat Planet has big Union Jack cushions and city art surrounding vintage pianos in the basement for a quaint afternoon with your rendezvous.
Flat Planet also serves amazing flatbread pizzas; half flatbread, half pizza, as well as an assortment of alcoholic beverages. A stone’s throw away from Soho, this is a great starting point for spending an afternoon that could turn into an evening out with somebody.
39 Great Marlborough St, Carnaby
Even if your date is from London, you’ll surprise them with this cute and quirky hidden gem. Scooter Caffe 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, kept company by the resident cat. The basement is adorable and lit by candlelight. In the evening, the place doubles up as a bar, but be warned, it’s small so avoid peak days (Fridays and Saturdays).
132 Lower Marsh
Originally a bakery in Soho, Foxcroft & Ginger has moved to up-and-coming London neighbourhood, Whitechapel.
Coffees and teas are served in beautiful little floral china tea cups, and there is a great set of cakes 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.
8 Ritherdon Road, Balham
If a flashy coffee date is what you’re after, then make it at the W Hotel. The lounge bar is sophisticated and decadent, with views overlooking Leicester Square. The hotel is a bold contrast of themes, colours, textures and characters with a luxurious atmosphere.
Splurge beyond coffee and try their punk-inspired afternoon tea, with each dish representing an iconic British song.
Leicester Square, 10 Wardour St
This is a Piccadilly Circus icon and a truly unique and beautiful store. Fortnum & Mason 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. All coffees come with a mini ice cream cone if you just want a little taster.
Coffee doesn’t taste much better than at Notes coffee. They have their own roastery, and while there are several Notes cafes across the city, the King’s Cross branch is our 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 taking away and having a picnic outside during warmer weather.
One Pancras Square
Uber-cool noodle shack, Salvation In Noodles (SIN) is the place to be seen at the moment. London regulars include actress Keira Knightley and singer M.I.A. Noodles aside, SIN serves the best Vietnamese coffee in the city. Choose between hot or iced coffee with condensed milk. We love the Finsbury Park branch with its intimate booths. The food is amazing, so get talking and work up an appetite!
2 Blackstock Rd
Yumchaa is a tea bar but the coffee is just as good here, making it the perfect date spot for a hot brew. Their speciality is blending: mixing up teas with real ingredients like dried fruit pieces, edible flowers, spices and chunks of chocolate. Yumchaa teas can be sweet, spicy or fruity, but they are always loose leaf and full of flavour. Coffee is locally roasted and come in all varieties. The venue has big sofas, homely tables and potted plants. It’s like catching up at a friend’s house.
35-37 Parkway, Camden
The view from the Tate Modern restaurant and espresso bar on level 6 is sensational. Sip a hot or iced beverage and enjoy views of the Thames River, the Millennium Bridge and the glorious St Paul’s Cathedral.
It’s one of the biggest and best museums in the world for contemporary art and international modern art, so why not take a stroll around the galleries with your date afterwards?
15. Shoreditch Grind
Expect a cafe meets bar vibe at the Shoreditch Grind, overlooking Old Street roundabout. Coffee is roasted locally at Grind HQ in the heart of Shoreditch. The venue serves food and cocktails till late. The music is pretty good (we previously enjoyed the sounds of Disclosure and Tinie Tempah) and could put you both in the mood for dancing later on.
213 Old St
PHOTOS: INSTAGRAM, LOOK MUM NO HANDS! FACEBOOK, FLATPLANET FACEBOOK, FOXCROFT & GINGER FACEBOOK, W HOTEL LONDON, FORTNUM & MASON FACEBOOK, NOTES COFFEE FOOD & WINE FACEBOOK, SALVATION IN NOODLES FACEBOOK, CARAVAN RESTAURANT FACEBOOK, SHOREDITCH COFFEE FACEBOOK
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.