Our App includes access details for the 90 cafes or so that we feature and we’d like to highlight three that have particularly good access for wheelchair users.
Firstly, Store Street Espresso, just off the mania of Tottenham Court Road in central London, is a roomy, airy and white-walled cafe, with beautiful wooden tables and benches. We suggest you have your coffee with some delicious toasted rye bread – big buttered slices, organic honey and beautiful jams that aren’t too sweet. They also do a wide selection of teas and gourmet sandwiches, with juicy flap-jacks, super croissants, pains au chocolat and the hot chocolate is made from one of those swirling machines full of indecently good, hot rich gloop. Decor-wise, this lovely cafe is minimalist yes, sterile no. It has a restful feel – big industrial lights hang throughout, picking out a small selection of gentle black and white photos and artful geometrical patterns painted on the walls. There’s a book-swap shelf to peruse too.
Store Street Espresso 40 Store Street, London WC1E 7DB Tel 00 44 20 7637 2623 Opening Times Monday-Friday 7.30am-7pm; Saturday 9am-6pm; Sunday 10am-4pm Coffee Square Mile; Machine La Marzocco Access Level access, spacious cafe with a very roomy adapted ground floor toilet.
Next is bike-repair shop and cafe, Look Mum No Hands on Old Street (east of central London). Apart from the great access, the coffee and food here are fantastic. Choose from free-range homemade meat pies, stews and rice, baked potatoes, homemade soups, salads, organic bread and cakes and pastries. There’s WiFi, wine, beers including Kernel, Bath Ales and Aspall Suffolk cider, high-seats for tots, seats outside for when it’s warm and baby-changing facilities. When events such as the Tour de France are on, footage is projected live on the screen at the back – making for a great atmosphere with the bunting and kooky bike-cog mobiles all around.
Look Mum No Hands 49 Old Street, London EC1V 9HX Tel 00 44 20 7253 1025 Opening Times Monday-Friday 7.30am-10.00pm; Saturday 9am-10pm; Sunday 10am-10pm Coffee Square Mile; Machine La Marzocco Access Level access into this cafe, and two very roomy adapted ground floor toilets.
Last but not least is Australian outfit Workshop Coffee, formerly St Ali, near Farringdon, (central London but slightly east), with its warm almost holiday atmosphere. Workshop has soothing wood furnishings, not too bright lighting and a high back wall of tropical greenery (not at all your typical London cafe furnishings). In case the big coffee roaster doesn’t give you the message, this is a serious coffee house, first established in Melbourne in 1999. Our lunch at Workshop was really great value and delicious – a filling salad of grilled Spanish sardines, borlotti beans, goat’s cheese, avocado and lettuce with mint leaves and fresh coriander in a perfect, gently sweet dressing. The food is tasty with a ‘healthy-twang’ being the constant theme. They do wine and international beers including London Brewery Kernel again and Australian Coopers Ale.
Workshop Coffee 27 Clerkenwell Road EC1M 5RN Tel 00 44 20 7253 5754 Opening Times Monday-Sunday 7am-6pm Access Request ramped access up one step into this spacious cafe, which also has an adapted ground floor toilet Coffee Workshop Coffee
InclusiveLondon is a great site for access information (an App exists too), then there’s MyAccessLondon and Action for Access helps you chart how accessible your high street is. If you’re a cafe-owner reading this and want to know more about how to improve your cafe’s access, contact the Centre for Accessible Environments. There’s also very useful DisabledGo.
All of the above cafes are listed in our City Guide App London thru Cafes which includes 90 London coffee houses and cafes, 350+ great places to visit and has regular updates. Much more than just a list of cafes, there are reviews, photos, area guides, a London survival guide, offline maps and lots of fantastic photos. The App also works offline so you can use it when you´re out and about and avoid roaming charges.