Embrace the cold, wrap your hands around a takeaway coffee and head outdoors this Autumn…
If you’ve read the first post of Coffee Snob’s recommended London walks, get your notebooks ready for the next 5 – just in time for lockdown 2.0…
Regent’s Park – The Coffee Jar
For those who like to get lost in nature without travelling too far…
The coffee: situated in Camden town, and yet just under 5 minutes away from Regent’s Park, this has been a long time north-of-the-river favourite of mine. It’s been open since 2013 and hasn’t put a foot wrong since. Roasting Monmouth beans to perfection. Address: 83 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PP
The route: take a left out of The Coffee Jar, go across the pedestrian crossing and you’ll soon see the greenness. Take a loop round the bandstand, see the Regents Park Open Air Theatre, not forgetting the beautiful walk through the rose garden – London’s largest collection of roses. If you’re up for a further walk, head up to Primrose Hill and take in some of the finest views of London’s skyline. A perfect London day out.
Hilly Fields – Browns of Brockley
For the sweet toothed ones heading South East…
The coffee: an absolute favourite of locals and…myself (I will gladly travel to the other side of London to come here). The coffee is exceptional, and their sweet treats have got legendary status. The banana bread and cookies are so sought after, they actually released the recipes for them on Instagram over Lockdown 1.0 (find them here). They’ve also got another branch at St Davids in Forest Hill if you fancy a walk through Dulwich Woods. Address: 5-6 Coulgate Street, Brockley, London SE4 2RW
The walk: Take a left out of Browns of Brockley and follow the curve of Coulgate Street. Continue along Harefield Road for sometime, then finally take a right onto Tressillian Road. Hilly Fields will soon jump into your eyeline. Hilly Fields owes its public ownership to one of the founders of the National Trust, Octavia Hill, who campaigned against building work on the site in the 19th century. It’s known for its impressive nature and conversation work, with a meadow sprouting up beautiful wild flowers and a surprisingly large population of butterflies. There’s a play area, picnic area and don’t forget to visit the Stone Circle, built in 2000 to mark the millennium. The walk from coffee shop to entrance should take about 10 mins.
Wandsworth Common/Battersea Park – Story Coffee
For those who are meeting a friend from the other side of town…
The coffee: Story Coffee is one of those places that does the Scandi chic vibe WELL. And I mean…really well. It’s like they invented it. Not only that, their coffee is some of the best I’ve tried in South London (take a look at the blog I wrote on it). They roast their own beans and they come balanced and moreish. Just across the road from Clapham Junction station on St John’s Hill it’s a perfect London meeting spot before a day out with a friend. Address: 115 St. John’s Hill, London SW11 1SZ
The walk: Wandsworth Common is just behind Story Coffee, so you can get there a variety of ways. I’d recommend taking a right out of the shop, then a right onto Strath Terrace, forking right onto Bolingbroke Grove, and you’ll soon see the Common on your right. The walk should take between 5-10 mins. If you want a larger spot of green, prep yourself for a 20-25 mins walk to Battersea Park. Promising 200 acres of land, a children’s zoo, the famous Pump House Gallery and bandstand, it’s a wonderland right on the edge of Thames. Head to the London Peace Pagoda for a panoramic view of Chelsea Embankment.
Marble Hill Park – Holly & Co
For those who like to explore a cute London village…
The coffee: this coffee shop is so much more than a coffee shop. Founded by Holly Tucker of Not on the High Street, Holly & Co is her latest feat of epic creativity and community. Focussing on being a cheerleader for small businesses, it’s a place to come and work; to gawp at their gorgeous gift shop; and to feel inspired. Coffee is from local roasters, Scotties Coffee in South West London. And the best thing is, every month they change their theme so depending on when you’ll go, you’ll get a different aesthetic. (Tip: get their peanut butter blondie or warming butternut squash soup. Absolute crowd pleasers, especially for your Autumnal jaunt.) Address: 149 St Margaret’s Road, Twickenham TW1 1RG
The walk: head right out of Holly and Co. Once you get to a fork in the road (at The Tavern pub), take a right down Crown Road, passing some gorgeous independent shops. Once you get to the roundabout at the end of the road, Marble Hill Park is just ahead of you, so you can either take a right then an immediate left down a lovely little street, finding the park eventually on your left; or you can take a left and then head straight into the park from the main road. The walk should be little more than 5 minutes. The park is an English Heritage site surrounding Marble Hill House which was built for King George II’s mistress, Henrietta Howard, in the 18th century. Walk through the grounds, pass the house, not forgetting to step inside the famous grotto, and then make your way down to the river at the end. Take a left along the river if you want to end up at Richmond, or a right for a beautiful walk towards Twickenham (I’d advise taking a right…) And if The Crown is open, grab a meal or a pint to finish the day off the proper way.
The South Bank – Gentlemen Baristas/Watch House
For the ultimate coffee crawl…
The coffee: Gentlemen Baristas is a long time favourite of mine, with a handful of ‘well-mannered’ coffee houses in some of London’s finest areas. This one is arguably my favourite, with the Southbank and Borough Market each being within arm’s reach. Their coffee is some of the best going – opt for Gatsby for a coffee with depth and hints of cherry. Their decaf is also some of the best I’ve ever tasted (click here to read more). Watch House is located is one of London’s most iconic venues, Somerset House. An absolute belter of a coffee house, they brought out their own coffee beans in August this year and my, they’re good. Combined with the below route – I don’t think coffee crawls come much better than this… Address: 11 Park Street, London SE1 9AB (start); Somerset House East Wing, London WC2R 1LA (end).
The route: start by getting off the train at London Bridge and heading into Borough Market. Towards the back of the market you will find Gentlemen Baristas. Get one of their stonking flat whites and then take a left, letting the road lead you down to the Thames. Once there, take a left and continue with the river on your right. Take in all the sights, including Shakespeare’s Globe, the Oxo Tower and the National Theatre. Take a right over Waterloo Bridge, then once you’re over the river and at Embankment Station, take a right again until you get to Somerset House (Watch House is inside Somerset House in the East Wing). The whole trip will take about 30-40 mins, dependent on the extent caffeine affects your walking speed.
Travelling solo? For this one, may I recommend the Wake Up and Smell the Coffee playlist on Spotify. The perfect company for a solo Autumn’s day.
Want the Coffee Snob vibe at all times without leaving the house? Get your essentials below…
–Kinto Travel Flask (pictured below)
–Monmouth coffee beans (Monmouth Espresso)
–Story coffee beans (Story Espresso)
–Scotties coffee beans (House blend)
–Gentlemen Baristas coffee beans (Gatsby)
–Watch House coffee beans (1829)
Keep your eye out for Part 3 coming soon…
The Snob x