Harden's survey result
A small group of “appealing no-frills cafés with a rustic feel” in sought-after locations, including South Kensington and Somerset House. Already “stalwarts” on the London scene, they are “intimate” places providing “simple tapas with the best ingredients”, plus “coffee or a glass of interesting wine”; and there’s “no music, which aids conversation”.
Although they almost pre-date the ‘hipster’, these high-quality, funky little cafés, with their “superb coffee, great tapas, freshly squeezed juices, breads, cakes and toasties” hold their own well against newer competitors. “The best F&W is at Somerset House, where on a sunny day you can sit outside and look at the beautiful architecture and fountains, just a minute from the Courtauld and the Strand”.
“Securing a chair is like fighting for a life-jacket on the Titanic (and worth it!)”, say fans of these funky cafés with “always good” coffee, plus high-quality sarnies and pastries.
“Consistently terrific coffee”, and “wonderful sarnies, pastries and cakes” distinguish these “quirky, if not comfy” cafés; Somerset House is its most striking outlet, and the tiny Soho ones are good too – South Ken seems more of a “rip off”, with staff who are “too cool to care”.
Last orders: 11 pm