See London anew and explore different areas by heading outdoors this Autumn…
With the latest restrictions preventing catch ups inside coffee shops, it’s a fine opportunity to explore the other side of London coffee shops – their external parts. As the weather turns, it’s increasingly difficult to find that perfect place that serves excellent coffee with outside seating that’s sheltered and also not too cold…so why not embrace the outdoors, don the wellies, wrap up warm and get out on a coffee-themed walk?
I’ve curated my favourite coffee spots in London that are next to brilliant walks, so you can catch up with friends, get lost in the rain, be entranced by the autumn light, all the while wrapping your hands round a warming cup of (fantastic) coffee. These suggestions are not without risk of getting wet, but may I say:
“There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.”
Get out, dance in the rain, make some memories and explore new areas and coffee shops in the meantime.
Green Park/St James’ Park – Noxy Brothers
For those who like to keep things Central…
The coffee: a new kid on the block, Noxy Brothers is nothing short of exemplary. They started with an espresso bar in Mayfair’s iconic Burlington Arcade, and just a couple of months ago they opened their first store in the same arcade. Expect cool, modern trends and damn fine tastes from this place. Their beans are roasted by East London coffee giants, Ozone Coffee, with their Signature Blend giving a rounded, chocolatey finish. And *if that isn’t enough* you can sit with friends in their sheltered outdoor seating. There, my friends, is a Tier 2 jewel you can have for free. Address: Burlington Arcade, 51 Piccadilly, W1J 0QJ
The route: start by grabbing your coffee from the lovely baristas here, head over the road (stop by Fortnum and Mason’s if the feeling takes you) and then aim for Green Park which is a 5 minute walk down the road. Head across the park, take in Buckingham Palace, stride down The Mall, and then go see the ducks in the lake in St James’ Park (my favourite). The leaves right now are the perfect shade of ‘Autumn’.
Tooting Bec Common – Communion Coffee
For the South London dwellers…
The coffee: serving some of South London’s finest coffee, Assembly Coffee, this is an independent coffee shop that’s a favourite amongst the locals. Bucketloads of charm and authenticity, and just 9 minute walk from the nearby Tooting Bec Common. Address: 21 Trinity Road, SW17 7SD
The route: head out of Communion Coffee towards Tooting Bec Underground station, then keep going until you hit the Common (it will take under 10 mins). Known for its many oak trees, get lost under a canopy of leaves as you explore this lovely stretch of grassland. Make sure you check out the lake too. A great spot of green in South London.
Richmond Park – Kiss the Hippo
For those who are partial to a hike…
The coffee: I’ve written about Kiss the Hippo many times – they are featured on my coffee roasters map, there’s a blog on them…and as if things couldn’t get any more perfect, they have Richmond Park right on their doorstep. Go in and see their roastery right through the screen at the back of the cafe. Tip: flat whites don’t come much better than from here. Address: 50 George Street, Richmond, London TW9 1HJ
The route: head right out of the shop, through the high street away from the station, following the road until you get to Richmond Park (it’s about a 20 min walk to get to the entrance). Once there, head down to Pen Ponds which are picture perfect this time of year. See the deer bathing in the pond to the South and get lost in this magical part of London. Worth taking a flask like this Kinto one [pictured above], so your coffee will still be warm by the time you get there.
Alternative route: if you’re not up for a hike, opt for the Terrace Gardens, Petersham Meadows, or take a long stroll down by the river.
London Fields – Climpsons and Sons
For those who like to keep their hangs in the East…
The coffee: something of an institution here, Climpsons and Sons takes its name from the butchers that preceded them on the premises, and since 2002 they have been serving the Hackney community with specialty coffee. With a few other East London spots, this one is situated in the iconic Victorian Broadway Market, so make sure you have a mooch around before heading for the green. Address: 67 Broadway Market, Hackney, London E8 4PH
The route: hang a left out of the cafe and in one minute’s time you will stumble upon the greenery edge of London Fields. This is a popular park amongst the Hackney locals, holding a Green Flag Award for being one of the best green spaces in the country. Make sure you check out the Wildflower Meadow and, if your caffeine hit has really kicked in, get involved in the outdoor gym.
Regent’s Canal – Caravan Coffee Roasters
For those who like to walk along a towpath and see how the city links up…
The coffee: one of the most iconic roasters in London, Caravan coffee is one of my all time favourites. What’s more, their Granary Square haunt is situated right next to the canal, and they have outdoor seating. So if the weather’s fine, you can enjoy your coffee on their beautiful terrace, overlooking the canal. And if not, well put on a mac and take a look at the route below. Address: 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA
The route: head straight out of Caravan and down the big green steps that take you down to Regent’s canal. Take a right so you’re walking with the canal on your left. Assess which of the barges you’d live in in an imaginary life, catch the amazing floating bookbarge, Word on the Water and soon you’ll be in Camden. Carry on a little further and you’ll end up in Regent’s Park. From door to park, the walk should take you about 40 minutes. (Dawdlers should allow an hour.)
Travelling solo?What a fine choice. May I recommend the Nordic Folk playlist on Spotify as the perfect accompaniment.
Want the Coffee Snob vibe at at times? Get the essentials below…
–Kinto Travel Flask (pictured below)
–Noxy coffee beans (Signature Blend)
–Kiss the Hippo coffee beans (George Street Blend)
–Climpsons and Sons coffee beans (The Estate)
–Caravan coffee beans (Market Blend)
Keep your eye out for Part 2 coming soon…
The Snob x