The (not so) Far East (London)

As promised, here are a few recommendations for cafes in the Clerckenwell-Shoreditch area (for a couple more, see my previous post). As Clerckenwell and Shoreditch have so many cool places you can visit, it was not easy to narrow it down, but I did my best. Moreover, I’m sure there are many more cool spots I didn’t get the chance to visit, so if you happen/ed to stumble upon one I’ve missed, I would love to know 😉

Gosewell Road Coffee (Jonestown)

While in London, I was staying in Clerckenwell for a few nights, and one morning I was casually walking down the street. I was in great need for coffee and a snack, and was headed towards the closest Grind, when my eye caught a colorful and intriguing looking cafe. From the outside I could see the place has huge lamps, both round and star shaped, hanging from the ceiling in a sort of solar system theme. The place seemed illuminated, and I loved it, so I walked in. When I did, I saw that there’s graffiti on the wall and big cozy vintage looking couches. The place has a combination of a slightly industrial underground with a pop vibe to it. Once inside, I guarantee you will feel like one of the cool kids 😉 The place is spacious, the staff is friendly and the atmosphere is laid back. You can get some good coffee (Jonestown’s organic single origin beans coffee, to be exact), and have a yummy snack too – either some sweets, or a salad of sandwich, if you are in a more of a savory mood.


Look mum no hands!

This incredibly cool place is a hybrid between a cafe and a bike shop. Located at the border of Clerckenwell and Shoreditch, at the very beginning of old street, it’s quite a hipster haven. I have to admit that when I was looking for the most recommended cafes in London, what initially attracted me to this place was it’s name. When I finally got the chance to check it out, I learned that there was much more to it. The place is big, with a lot of seating options inside – there is a bar looking out to Old street, which is perfect for laptops (and is the only place in this cafe where you can actually work from), a big communal table, some smaller tables and also couched, as well some tables outside (when the weather allows). The staff is friendly and helpful, yet in an easy going way. And most importantly, they serve delicious breakfasts with some vegan options included. As it is a bike shop, the place’s decor has a lot of bike wear and merchandise, but you can also find many flowers decorating the space, big light wooden tables and some other splashes of color.  The coffee is good and is served in brand mugs, and all products are fresh and tasty. I tried both their avocado toast and their porridge, which were yummy. I’ve been told the full English breakfast, as well as their poached eggs are great too. Apparently, I loved this place so much the first time, I came back for more, and I could definitely see why it is on the most recommended coffee shops in London list.

look mum no hands

[Via @1ookmumnohands]

Paper & Cup

The first time I heard of this place was actually on Instagram, I was scrolling through my feed when I saw this extremely cute looking blue coffee shop facade. By now this encounter probably occurred over a year ago and I was still living in NYC. For some reason, at first I thought this cafe was in New York (maybe in Brooklyn), and was disappointed to realize that it was actually in Shoreditch, London. However, I made a note to self to visit there whenever I go to London, so when I decided I was travelling to the UK, Paper and Cup was at the top of my list.

While I was really looking forward to sitting at Paper and Cup, my first attempt came short. It was sometime between Christmas and New Years and I was in Shoreditch, I walked quite a distance in order to get there, only to arrive and find it closed. That was quite disappointing, and I was pretty sure that would be the end of it, but about a month later, when I was staying in Clerckenwell, I decided to go to the Sunday market at Brick Lane, and I got another shot at Paper and Cup.

I walked into this bustling second hand book shop / cafe, to find a hip artsy crowd. The place was completely full (there aren’t a lot of seating options inside, and it was literally freezing outside), but by the time I order (a vegan matcha cake and oat milk latte), a table had opened and I was able to sit. The place felt cozy and homey, and I couldn’t stop looking at the books surrounding me, and at the overall cute and aesthetic decor. In the end I enjoyed my cake and coffee quite a lot, and was really glad I had made it there after all.

paper & cup

[Via The Guardian]

Till next time,

¬ Lir

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