Did I really just walk a three mile round trip on my lunch break to get a coffee? Yes, it seems I did. Am I bonkers? Probably. Was it worth it? Definitely. But not only for the fact that the coffee was one of the best I have had in a while, but because it took me to an area of London that I’ve always known was there, but until today had never explored.
So, why did I just take nearly my whole lunch hour travelling to and from a coffee shop? Because it’s been on my ‘to go to’ list for a while after spotting it on the Time Out list of best London coffee shops, a list that I completely trust. And on my walk back, I got to thinking… I had enough time after all. My coffee addiction started just over a year ago when I visited Australia. I can harp on for hours about the coffee over there. My dad also recently took a trip to Australia. Before he went, he was more of an Italian cappuccino man, preferring Bar Italia over Fernandez & Wells but on his return he asked me for my list of antipodean coffee shops in London. He’d heard me talk of such places before his trip but previously hadn’t paid much attention. He obviously saw the light when he was over there.
So you’re probably wondering where I’ve just been. Well, it’s called The Espresso Room and it is situated on Great Ormond Street, just opposite the hospital. Although owner Ben Townsend is not Australian, guess where he learnt his trade? You guessed it, Melbourne. As I turned onto the street, I instantly spotted where it was. A large wooden coffee cup hangs off the side of the wall and beautiful little wooden stools and tables sit outside. They were empty on my arrival but there were a few cool types sitting in, enjoying their coffee whilst having a good old chat. The shop has an appropriate name as it literally is just a room – with only enough space for around six people to sit in.
Inside you’ll find a tempting range of cakes, which are baked on the premises and a mound of Beas of Bloomsbury brownies. The Keep Cup display is also impressive with a wide range of sizes and colours.
I ordered a flat white and was surprised when the woman behind the counter asked if I wanted small or large. Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t flat whites one size – small?? I went for the small, which cost £2.60. This brings me on to another point – when did all good coffee shops put their prices up to the wrong side of £2.50?? Probably because they know coffee addicts (snobs) like me will pay it because they can’t make their own or get them anywhere else. Damn.
Next time I visit The Espresso Room, it will be a weekend so I have time able around the area, coffee in hand, admiring the magnificent Georgian townhouses that grace the surrounding area.
The Espresso Room
31-35 Great Ormond Street