For cafes, we’d have to say Prufrock’s is definitely in our top five 2011 favourites. We’ll always like 2009 World Barista Champion Gwilym Davies’ tiny Shoreditch branch and counter inside Present, but we have a particular soft spot for the big, colourful, cheerful branch in Leather Lane that runs really good coffee courses too (we’ve done the Espresso course with barista Jeremy Challender and we really recommend it). Also in our top five is Birdhouse on St John’s Hill in Battersea for its sweet, grey and yellow and of course bird-themed design and lovely service, as well as the Espresso Room in Bloomsbury, which continues to make unbelievably good coffee, without fail, every time, in no more than about ten cubed feet of space (photo is of the Espresso Room). The Mary Ward Cafe inside the Mary Ward Education Centre in Queen Square - not too far from the Espresso Room – may not be a ‘flat white place’ but it does really great vegetarian food at unheard-of-in London prices (we’re not even veggie and we keep going back). And finally, we adore Fred and Fran Cafe in Stoke Newington – it’s just lovely, especially the homemade blueberry muffins.
For places to go to in London – we were wowed by the cocktails in 69 Colebrooke Row in Angel, adored the originality and artist spirt in the Dennis Severs’ House near Liverpool Street Station (the house is arranged so that it feels as if an eighteenth century silk-weaving family is still living there – with started cups of tea, lit candles and half-munched scones dotted about the place). We also absolutely loved Linley Sambourne house - the former home of late nineteenth century Punch cartoonist, Edward Linley Sambourne. The fascinating house has ‘real life’ people from Victorian times welcoming you and taking you around the house, as if they’re the host and you are the invited guest. We also were moved by the informative, intimate and deeply resonating Jewish Museum in Camden – an unexpected gem before the hubbub of the market starts, and finally, we had a finger-licking lunch at Spuntino’s in Rupert Street, Soho.
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.