Continuing my search for the best coffee shop in central London, I popped into Lantana Cafe on Friday lunchtime for a coffee. I should caveat this post by saying that LOADS of people have raved to me about Lantana. I’ve heard the food is great and since I went a number of people – including people who do coffee for a living – have told me I was wrong and need t0 go back. But I have to stick to what I’m looking for in this search which is delicious coffee that picks you up from your crappy /stressful day and makes you smile, with a nice little kick of energy. A coffee shop that is warm and welcoming and happy to accomodate you and your friends, or you on your own with your laptop or book and a bit of time to while away.
Lantana is an antipodean cafe and as I loved the cafe culture last time I was in Sydney (although I think its Melbourne-run), I was looking forward to seeing how the Aussies had livened up the London coffee “scene”. The beans are a mix of “Guatemalian” [sic], Brazilian and Ethiopean and the coffee certainly looks pretty with a cute little tree-shaped milky bit (would have looked much better in the photo had I not dunked a great lump of sugar in it beforehand).
I ordered a flat white, my new coffee of choice. But I was disappointed – first of all it was luke warm, not hot – so not a coffee that can be cradled and enjoyed slowly. Then it was seriously creamy but with no “hit” of caffeine (I need my hit, man) – although maybe I should have ordered a double shot. And it was £2.40 – most expensive coffee on my search yet. Also, I was one of the only people on my own and I felt like a loser. Especially because I was taking pictures of the coffee. It was lunchtime so maybe that’s why, but coffee shops should be friendly and welcoming to waifs and strays and invite you to hang around as long as you want. Saying that, I will definitely be back for brunch or lunch and maybe a coffee in the afternoon when its quieter.
My pick of the coffee places so far? Wild & Wood. Although the London Review Bookshop Cafe is a lovely relaxing little cafe, the coffee is amazing in W&W (Monmouth coffee) and had me buzzing all afternoon, and it’s gorgeous and accomodating inside.