Our continuing, caffeine-fuelled quest to find the best coffee shops in London. previous entries for more Java goodness.
Arty cafes like this, full of Fairtrade products and wheat-free rye bread, are a dime a dozen in more central parts of London. But this is Kingston-upon-Thames, a suburban sprawl of clone shops, stuck out in - gulp - zone 6. Yes, you read right. Zone 6.
But all this is a little unfair. Parts of the riverside town are very picturesque, and the Rose Theatre is a particularly welcome addition. And, should you ever end up in this part of south-west London - visiting Hampton Court, perhaps, or cycling or strolling along the gorgeous Thames Path - you might be pleasantly surprised that even out here in the styx, you can get a decent macchiato!
Actually, the macchiato is more than decent. It is divine. All the coffee is Fairtrade-sourced, delivering a rich and chocolatey kick of caffeine that really hits the spot. Prices are reasonable too. £2.10 will buy you a long, creamy latte, and £2 a flat white. There is also a large selection of hot beverages to keep you sleepy and comforted, from lemon steamers to hot milk with nutmeg and honey - while yummy mummies flock here for the ‘kids hot choc’ (£1.30) and ‘babychino’ (£1).
When you combine all that with a large and wholesome selection of hot food, plus homemade muffins, smoothies and English breakfasts, it is no wonder that such a mix of people visit, from families to Kingston University students. London can sometimes leave you spoiled for choice - but it’s local heroes like this one, tucked away in the outskirts, that can really make a difference.
By Sophie Offord.
Local Hero, 22 Thames Street Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey KT1 1PE.
Open Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5pm; Sat, 8:30am-6pm; Sun, 9:30-5:30pm.