Design-led cafés and multifaceted coffee bars to bring a sense of occasion to the humble brew
Shreeji News and Magazines, Marylebone
A local institution, Shreeji News and Magazines opened on Chiltern Street in 1982 and has become known for its curation of coffee table magazines and independent publishers. The not-so-traditional newsagent has been renovated by developer Gabriel Chipperfield – son of architect David Chipperfield – with the help of his wife Laura de Gunzburg. Muted yellow and mauve walls are offset by striped silk seats and rattan furniture, alongside scallop-edged pendant lamps and colourful glassware. Products on display are also available to buy via de Gunzburg’s pop-up interiors shop, The Artichoke.
Shreeji News and Magazines is still first and foremost a newsagent, but now also boasts a coffee bar and reading room. While the latter is currently closed due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, visitors can sit outside for coffee, cake and pastries. Hans Ulrich Obrist, Paul Smith and Jay Jopling are among those who have recently popped by to check out the new space.
Address: 6 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London W1U 7PT
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 6.30am-6pm; Saturday 8am-5pm; Sunday 8am-2pm
Watch House Roastery, Bermondsey
The newly opened Watch House Roastery occupies three railway arches on Maltby Street in Bermondsey. Designed by architectural studio Kirkwood McCarthy (also behind Square Mile Coffee Roasters in East London), the flagship space houses a coffee shop with a central U-shaped espresso bar, as well as an experimental laboratory. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow customers to view the roasters at work, while they sip on one of five bespoke brews.
Watch House also boasts pitstop-sized coffee shops across the capital, including Tower Bridge, Commercial Street, Spitalfields and Somerset House, alongside a newly launched at-home subscription service.
Address: 36 Maltby Street, London SE1 3PA
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 7.30am-4pm; Saturday-Sunday 9am-4pm
The Monocle Café, Marylebone
Located several doors down from Shreeji News and Magazines is Monocle Café, an elegant offshoot of the lifestyle magazine and media brand, recognisable by its much-Instagrammed monochrome awning. The latest Monocle print editions are on display to browse as you sip on Allpress coffee – or switch to Yuzu gin & tonic or Japanese Komé Biru beer later in the day.
Alongside loaded bagels and Swedish buns, the food menu also has a Japanese leaning, serving a typically Tokyo-style breakfast of sweet rolled omelette, ginger-topped tofu and pickled cucumber with an onigiri rice ball, as well as splendid cakes by London-based, Japanese-run patisserie Lanka.
Address: 18 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London W1U 7QA
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 7am-7pm; Saturday-Sunday 8am-7pm
Rose Bakery at Dover Street Market, Haymarket
Michèle Lamy, Molly Goddard, Katie Grand and Zoë Kravitz are just a few of the regulars you’ll spot at Rose Bakery – the fashionable café on the top floor of Dover Street Market. The Anglo-French bakery, first established on Paris’s Rue des Martyrs in 2002, specialises in coffee and cake, as well as fresh pasta and salads.
Dispelling the notion that the fashion set doesn’t eat, the steel counter is laden with carrot cake, cinnamon swirls, scones and sweet and savoury tarts. Akin to Dover Street Market’s minimalist Japanese aesthetic, the space embraces clean lines and a neutral colour palette. Once finished, explore Dover Street Market’s multifarious offering of high fashion, fine jewellery and accessories.
Address: 18-22 Haymarket, West End, London SW1Y 4DG
Opening hours: 12-6.30pm (6pm Sunday)
Marchesi 1824, Mayfair
Marchesi 1824, the historic Milanese café that the Prada Group acquired in 2014, is famed for its chantilly cream-filled cakes, meringues and towering panettone. The Mayfair outpost is the first Marchesi location outside of Italy and mirrors the original café's mosaic tiles, marble tabletops and green velvet furnishings, with more than a whiff of old-worldly Italian elegance. It also serves the same 100 per cent arabica bold roast coffee as the Milanese branch – although this being Mayfair, it will set you back considerably more.
Address: 117 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 3LA
Opening hours: 8am-6pm (closed Sunday)