5 coffee shops to watch the world go by in London
1) Bar Italia
Bar Italia is a wonderful survival from the heady days of 1950s Soho. It retains a real old-school charm, as well as a Gaggia machine and original mechanical till. It was opened in 1949 and is still run by the same family. Open from 7 am to 5 am it’s a great place to come late at night, as memorialised in the Pulp song of the same name.
2) Coffee Plant
A community-hub cafe in Notting Hill’s Portobello Road with an alternative and arty vibe, and a rather basic décor. Sit in the window or outside on the street to watch the market traders, tourists and locals going about their business.
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3) St James's Café
In the middle of St James’s Park in central London this cafe is perfectly located for a relaxing coffee amongst the quiet trees and greenery. The building, with its wooden organic geometry, is very elegant and fits beautifully into the landscape.
4) Nude Espresso
Nude’s new open-spaced cafe is in a warehouse-like room that houses their micro-roastery, right opposite their original cafe. The huge windows offer great views of passers-by in this creative area, full of interesting independent shops.
5) Climpson & Sons
This popular cafe has a good view onto one of London’s hippest enclaves. At the weekend, when the street market is open, it gets very busy, but come in the week for a more relaxed experience. This area has an arty, creative and enterprising vibe. The people-watching here is great.
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