By cloudandcompass with permission
Cyclists, coffee lovers, and cycling coffee lovers will all find themselves at home in Look Mum No Hands!, the laid back and stylish new cafe on Old Street where they prepare flat whites and repair flat tyres with equal aplomb.
A trip here will leave you in no doubt about the venue's overarching theme. By way of decoration the cafe is artfully (and liberally) festooned with frames, wheels, and other cycling paraphernalia, while the layers of bikes locked up outside give a clue to the mode of transport favoured by most of the clientele.
Even if you don't count yourself among London's ever-growing band of cyclists, the fare on offer provides a more than good enough reason to visit. The coffee (produced on a Faema machine, using beans from Square Mile) is reasonably priced and good quality. On our visit, the aforementioned flat white was perfectly smooth, its signature fern pattern crafted with telling expertise.
Suki loose leaf teas are an alternative source of refreshment, and if a hot drink isn't quite what's needed to quench the thirst after a long cycle, smoothies, milkshakes and iced coffees are also on the menu. Beers (including continental lagers and Bath ales) and wines are served up to the closing time of 10pm, and an array of mouth-watering pies, salads, and daily specials are made on the premises, displayed alongside cakes and pastries from local bakers.
The building is spacious, and the big screen on one wall was put to use showing the Tour de France (to gatherings of people pretending to work using the free wi-fi). As well as the Tour screenings, the on-site bike workshop and cycling books on sale have ensured that this has quickly become a hub for cyclists of all kinds. But the atmosphere is welcoming rather than exclusive, and LMNH! manages to be both credible and cool without intimidating those who never learned to ride without stabilisers. Be careful though, after coming here you may be inspired to try.
By Jonathan Knott
Look Mum No Hands is at 49 Old Street, EC1V 9HX
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