To the Big Smoke!!
This visit we were based around Piccadilly, what was fascinating part of this exploration was how popular Cooper was, and what an amazing attraction he became! Just walking along people’s very city-face, head down ploughing through, lit up. So many people smiled, many asked to say hello and a few stopped for a chat. One lady in particular was so please and commented “he has made my day” - Such a simple thing but showed us how dogs can be so beneficial, particularly in the city and this area where we only saw about three other dogs and these were in the park.
We also met our gorgeous friend Sara for an AWB (after work beer) which was awesome and a great catch up which pleased Coops. This lovely pub @banker.cousinlane overlooking the Thames and opposite and along from the Tate Modern had a very suited and booted after work crowd - we absolutely stood out like a sore thumb, me with quite a turquoise t-shirt and with Cooper - again lots of attention and love. Never have we ever spoken to so many people in the city.
Department Of Coffee And Social Affairs:
On our coffee hunt we started the morning at The Department of coffee and social affairs - they have a few locations and this one was on Sherwood Street. A very tiny location suited for takeaway coffee - but us being us perched on one of the three stools to enjoy a cortado. Here they have different single origin coffees, apparently meant to be explained to us and given a choice however I was handed the Golden Ticket Ethiopian. It was a great choice, and a beautifully pulled shot.
The rich red fruit really shone through. A good bright but balanced coffee, with a delicious caramel shortbread base and velvety body was a delight. As you can see from the picture the milk has also been stretched with care to create a yummy coffee that is a pleasure to drink.
While I love this coffee and the great, efficient service we received I do not believe it would suit all people. Those wanting a consistent morning caffeine fix with the more chocolatey base may be disappointed on days. I do not think this is a bad thing, just my observation - it is directed at the specialty coffee drinker, particularly ones that may like to experiment and they can do this in the city as many options to suit those with a more approachable coffee are located nearby. Great for those wanting to try more, and different Single Origin coffees.
15 Sherwood St, Soho, London W1F 7ED
Regent Street Quadrant
Monday – Friday: 07.30 – 17.30
Saturday: 10.30 – 17.00
We then popped to the Assos Boutique London store. (Not to be confused with asos!) This is great for all you serious cyclists and I know we get a lot in Coopers. They are a premium brand - honestly I gulped at the prices, but the quality is high with great technical material focusing on comfort and function. Why were we there? I row not bike, but Paul one of our awesome friends and regulars works there and well-behaved dogs are welcome so we couldn’t be there without saying hello! There was a great warm welcome and if anybody wants help from these guys they have plenty of experience and are very passionate about the cycling industry and not just there to sell. This is a definite flagship store that would encourage me to try road cycling.
18 Regent Street - St James’s, SW1Y 4PH, London
Open Mon - Fri 10:00-19:00
Sat - 09:00 - 18:00
Sun - 12:00 - 18:00
Urban Tea Rooms:
From here Paul took us to the Urban Tea just around the corner. Here we had an espresso. It is a very good, well pulled shot. They have definitely been trained well. They use Allpress coffee and this is a blend of Brazilian, Columbian, Guatemalan and Sumatra. You can taste the depth with the chocolate caramel flavour brought mostly from the Brazil and Guatemala and slight smokey taste, while there is also great brightness and finish with zest from the Columbian coffee. A really good coffee to start the day. This location also has delicious, fresh looking food. We did not try any but it looked great!
2A St James's Market, St James’s, London
United Kingdom, SW1Y 4SB
T: 020 7321 0605
Monday: 7.00am - 5.00pm
Tuesday: 7.00am - 5.00pm
Wednesday: 7.00am - 5.00pm
Thursday: 7.00am - 5.00pm
We did some sightseeing in the area, with Horse Guards Parade and Buckingham Palace so close how could we miss out!
Lots of fun and again a fair bit if attention.
The Borough Barista:
We had one more coffee stop at The Borough Barista. Another in close proximity. The staff are very welcoming. Here we sat outside and got a lot of attention again. We were like a welcoming committee while perched there on the cool bench at the front of the shop. We love people watching so it was perfect and kept us tucked out of the way. One reason I ended here was due to Ole & Steen not being dog-friendly, bit gutted as the pastries looked amazing - if I’m back without Coops I will try, but this seems unlikely as we had such fun together I would want to bring him along again, so happy to go to dog-friendly places instead, there are more than I imagined which is awesome.
Here we had a cortado and an espresso, plus a tasty little egg and bacon roll. This is not heated but is very tasty. Maybe slightly drier sitting out but I totally understand the issues as it is so hard to be efficient, fast and total perfection every minute of every day at the price people expect to pay. I would 100% eat here again though.
As you can see the cortado lacks on the latte art front, but the taste was fantastic which always trumps visuals in my opinion and does not put me off a place. The milk was nicely incorporated so drank well. In both drinks, particularly the espresso of course, you can taste the chocolate and hazelnut flavours from a darker roast drawing out that bitter sweet note, but has not been pushed too far and a toffee caramel highlight appears toward the end of your shhhlurp :). I was pleased to try something in London that is not over bright and acidic, which had been a trend and a worry for me being pushed that far over the past few years since joining the industry - this could be a whole other post I might tackle soon.
I would absolutely recommend coming here for the coffee, food and top service. Friendly and approachable.
Mon-Fri 7:45 – 17:30
15 Charles II street SW1Y4QU
This trip was a lot of fun but also in a couple of places managed to get a decent amount of work done. Hopefully you get to try these places too and enjoy them as much as we did. Any recommendations for us in future? Drop us a line...
Over and out - James & Cooper