Let them eat cake!
Before we go on to nightlife activities it is good to know where to get a good cup of coffee with an awesome selections of pastries. Although we are again not in Paris, there are more than enough patisseries and coffee shops that are not called Starbucks, Pret a manger or Caffè Nero and are worth a visit.
Of course it depends on the area, there are so many cute little hideouts, but here are some of my fav places to pass away the time.
It’s time for something sweet!
1. Princi (Soho):
Italian bakery in the heart of Soho that serves a delicious range of cakes but also breakfast and warm dishes. It is best for breakfast, afternoon cake or lunch (good lasagna or mozzarella and ham focaccias). Staff is mainly friendly and Italian, I wish they were allowed to get rid of this strange headwear. The atmosphere is nice though it is a bit too crowded at times and their queuing system would need improvement. The design of the space (especially with the running water taps) is different to some of the other cafés. You can see they have some previous experience with their four branches in Milan.
Good for: people watching, lunch, afternoon cake
People: mixed bunch of locals and tourist, age range 20-40
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 08.00-00.00 Sun 08.30-22.00
2. The Wolseley (Mayfair):
Ok, Mayfair is an expensive place to be. Passing by New and Old Bond street with its cheap shopping venues like Gucci, Cartier and Louis Vuitton, we cast a glance at the Ritz and finally arrive at the Wolseley. Although this British/Modern restaurant has recently got a sister (The Delaunay), this is still a classic. Booking is recommended and we do not really go there for the best afternoon tea (we come to that later) or to have a good Schnitzel, it is basically the whole experience, the people watching and the atmosphere that should justify your visit. Also recommended for dinner!
Good for: people watching, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner
People: divas, locals, tourists, VIPs, couples, age range 30-almost dead
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-11.45pm (Sat 8am- ) Sun 8am-10.45pm
The Wolseley Homepage
3. Fernandez & Wells (Soho and Somerset House)
They have four different venues in London, but you should go either go to Beak Street or Somerset House, where they have a nice selection of sandwiches, cakes and a good cup full of caffeine. Not as fancy as the Wolseley and not as trendy as Princi, but a nice place for spending the afternoon, plus they have free wi-fi.
Good for: coffee, relaxing, cakes
People: mixed bunch of locals and tourists, age range everyone that already had his/her first coffee-50
Opening Hours: Beak Street: Mon-Fri 7.30am-6pm Sat 9am-6pm) Sun 9am-5pm; Somerset House: Mon-Fri 8am-11pm Sat-Sun 9am-11pm
Fernandez & Wells Homepage
4. Kaffeine (Fitzrovia, Oxford Circus)
Stylish coffee bar just minutes away from hectic Oxford Street and the masses of tourists and school kids. The coffee is great, the people are friendly – what more do you need? Forget the chain atmosphere of a dark Starbucks. They also have some nice snacks to complete their menu.
Good for: coffee, relaxing, cakes
People: their local fan base, age range 20-50
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm Sat 9am-6pm Sun 9.30am-5pm
5. Monmouth Coffee Company (Covent Garden)
Not much to say about this place except the fact that you can count on a pretty high-quality caffeine injection and that is gets pretty busy sometimes. They roast their coffee themselves (other places like the Fleet River Bakery which is quite nice also sell their black beans).
Good for: coffee, coffee, coffee, maybe some pastries
People: coffee lovers of all ages
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 8am-6.30pm, closed on bank holidays