I wouldn’t do The Life Goddess any justice if I just called it a ‘coffee shop’. This is a coffee shop and a restaurant and a deli – but all three are providing a little taste of delicious Greece. This is the story of three fellow Greeks from my homeland of Macedonia and the city I spent a good chunk of my life, Thessaloniki.
Off Edgware Road’s madness and lack of any decent coffee loungers here lies The Borough Barista. The space is not very big but it has a feeling of an old cottage sitting room with large windows on both walls (taking advantage of its corner position), clean wood deco and cute little furniture. Continue reading The quest for London’s independent coffee shops – the borough barista
What can I say about Bottega Friulana. From the cosy interior, the delicious cakes and strong coffee, the music, to the late closing times (10 and 11pm) this place ticks off all my boxes.
I am in love with this coffee shop. I could sit and write, read here for hours and people-watch Soho’s trendy crowd passing by. Although, the Yumchaa coffee shops are expanding (already now four in London, practically a small chain) this still pretty much feels like an independent, neighbourhood café. I love the combination of industrial brick, softened with romantic silver flowery paper wall and a mix and match country chic furniture.
How much London changed on this front since I first moved here. While still independent coffee shops are not exactly bursting out of the streets like other European capitals, we definitely have considerably more choices these days. I am getting so excited (I know it doesn’t take much to make me happy does it?) each time I discover a new coffee drinking hole that has individuality and doesn’t come under the name of Costa or Starbucks.
That’s the thing about London. When you think you are trending into dodgy territory there is always a more upscale little street that can offer an escape exit. Trapped between not so glam Tottenham Court Road and touristy Oxford Street, Charlotte Street takes you to an evening in Continental Europe. Or sort of. It is a short street, but sweet! Small cafes, independent restaurants and a couple of cosy bars. A great choice if you find yourself trapped in Central London but wanting to avoid the Soho buzz.
3 October (opens) – Gone Girl
6 – 12 October – London Cocktail Week
8 – 18 October – London Film Festival
9 October – The Rum Fest
9-10 October – Pharrell Williams at the O2
15 October (opens) – Rembrandt, The Late Works at The National Gallery
17-26 October – London Fields Free Film Festival
18 October – Beer and Street Food in Shore ditch
24 October (opens) – Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the National History Museum
For a lover of latin music, London’s Latin Jazz Festival is always great news. On its second year, at Pizza Express Soho Jazz Club, the festival runs from 23 Sept – 27 Sept. I went to see Eliane Correa & En El Project.
It’s a comfort that there are some places in London that offer the same ambience, quality of food and service throughout the years without messing with ‘forced style’ deco or menu changes. Sometimes you just don’t like change. If something really works, why spoil it?
I resisted visiting Dalston for a while only because I dislike all this hype words of ‘the new x’. I must admit, Dalston is indeed quite close to what Shoreditch used to be circa 2005. In reality nothing will ever be ‘that’ Shoreditch, with its unpolished yet charming style, lack of anything called ‘hipster’ and forever unpretentiousness. But for all of us who are reminiscing those good old days, Dalston is as good as it can get!