Because I have an addiction to coffee about the equivalent of Lorelai Gilmore’s, I made it my mission to scout out the best coffee shops across the UK. Unsurprisingly, the best lie in the heart of London. And as much as I love a salted caramel mocha from Starbucks, I love these local hangouts even more. So if you’re in need of a warm cuppa on your vacay, don’t miss one of these spots below!
1. Kitchen & Pantry
Hidden right behind the always bustling Portabello Road, this eclectic cafe is far from touristy. With an unapologetic green exterior, it sits across from one of the best flower stalls in the Notting Hill area and boasts comfortable leather sofas and Moroccan drum stools in the homiest of settings. Tuck into this caffeine-filled hideaway after strolling the weekend market, visiting the Notting Hill Bookshop or seeing a film at the Electric Cinema.
If you’re a business traveler needing to log a few hours while in the midst of the city, trade in the average Starbucks or Costa for this kitschy workspace. You’ll hardly find anyone here without a laptop, so it’s ideal for getting things done. And definitely an improvement on your typical office setting. If you need a quieter space, Timberyard has private rooms that you can rent out for meetings and this is definitely an option to consider if your job requires you to take phone calls. For all other purposes though, I’ve never found the public cafe inhibiting for work. And they make a mean grilled cheese!
Minding its own business next to wisteria-covered Maddox Gallery, this quaint cafe welcomes you in with fresh bread and pastries in the window. The exterior is clean, sophisticated, and just plain pretty. This is the perfect place to stop for a cap in between splurges on Regent Street, and thankfully it’s never pouring with tourists!
4. Shoreditch Grind
Truth be told, I waited far too long to make it to this eclectic, hipster part of the city. This coffee shop/cafe beckons you with an old Hollywood-esque marquee as you step right off the tube, and inside you’re met with the perfect ambiance, music and menu selections. They make a delicious iced chai latte, but if you visit after hours, definitely go for Tommy’s margarita. This place receives a giant A+ from me… and apparently all the other millennials (check this Insta-famous Grind here).
5. The Missing Bean
Well technically, this one is a bit outside of London – in Oxford to be exact! I love the ambiance of this little hole in the wall. Petite and unassuming, this is always my first stop when visiting the University. The wi-fi is a bit shotty, and it’s almost always overflowing with students hard at work, so don’t expect lots of personal space. You’ll likely be elbow to elbow with strangers as you sip on your lattes completely in sync. But their coffee art is no joke, and it’s the best ailment to a chilly day. Seriously magic in a cup!