Whether this is your first of thirtieth visit to London, straight away you’ll no doubt notice that there are more Starbucks, Prets, Neros and Costas that you could shake a stick at, and yes these may do fine for busy commuters in need of a quick caffeine fix, but if you’ve come to this bustling city looking for a real local London experience then give one of these delightful, independently run cafés a try for delicious local coffee, handcrafted cakes and cosy atmosphere.
70 Camberwell Church Street, London, SE5 8QZ
Photo credit: http://wearelumberjack.co.uk/
This quaint coffee outlet, situated in up and coming south London, is perfect if you fancy a cup of joe with a home-brewed twist (and maybe a cheeky slice of cake on the side). The coffee beans they use are sourced locally from the neighbouring Old Spike Roastery, but that’s not all they source locally. Partnered with London Reclaimed, who craft all of their beautiful rustic furniture, and other local outlets, there’s virtually nothing in this quaint coffee and cake cave which isn’t locally made. Pair this with their active involvement in London Reclaimed’s work getting young people into employment, and their community interest aesthetic, and you’ll afford yourself a glimpse of real London community values.
Small White Elephant
28 Choumert Rd, London SE15 4SE
Photo credit: facebook.com/smallwhiteelephant
This adorable independent café is arguably home to some of the best coffee in London (well, Peckham anyway). With its bold cerise interior, great value coffee and fun menu - which includes coconut toast, scrummy homemade cakes and even caters to the lactose intolerant among us with their ‘Al Pacino’ (cappuccino with almond milk) - this café is the perfect spot for an afternoon sit down in some very comfortable surroundings.
Camden Arts Centre Café
Arkwright Rd, London NW3 6DG
Photo credit: visitlondon.com
One to try if you’re craving some greenery and open space along with your coffee (and cake!). This café is a tranquil oasis in the centre of busy Camden. With its light and airy atmosphere, provided by the large glass windows throughout, simplistic layout and modern outdoor patio, this is the perfect place to enjoy local London in peace. Try one of their delicious brownies with your flat white, or if you’re feeling a bit more peckish, there’s a good range of soups, salads and sandwiches on offer too.
Ginger and White
4a-5a Perrins Court, NW3
Photo credit: www.gingerandwhite.com
This rustic gem of a coffee shop is a grand example of all that’s good about coffee and cake in London. With its huge range of handmade cakes (made using only the finest free range eggs, Madagascan vanilla, British butter and flour and fresh fruit) and delicious coffee (with all ingredients sourced from small UK companies), this place is so worth a visit if you’re strolling round north west London for the day.
60 Camberwell Church Street, London SE5 8QZ (coffee and crepes)
Photo credit: facebook.com/mymaloko
Ok, so a slight exception to the ‘coffee and cake’ theme, but this coffee and crepe hangout is a definite must visit if you’re spending time in Camberwell during your visit. It’s pancake lover’s heaven, with a huge variety of sweet crepes and savoury galettes to choose from (some great veggie and vegan choices included), as well as healthy pressed juices and some fantastic coffee. The interior is cosy, with homely wicker chairs, a ceiling of old coffee bean bags and a wall of trendy graffiti above a classic fireplace. In short, it’s a relaxed and friendly place to spend some quality local London time.