Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Store Street Espresso, Bloomsbury, London

Last week we went to London, where I got to see the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibition at Tate Modern - not a chance I was going to miss it! I needed a city trip before tuning into autumn. We dined at the Wild Food Cafe in Neal's Yard, walked in Covent Garden, Westminster and St. James's Park, and went to the Whole Foods Market on Kensington High Street, which always feels like our London food-home. The kids even asked, We are going to WFM, aren't we? And there was coffee. In the heart of Bloomsbury I had the best latte. I had promised a coffee-geeky friend to go to Store Street Espresso at 40 Store St (to be exact, it's part of the Fitzrovia district). It was a promise I happily fulfilled during our Bloomsbury/Fitzrovia stroll and the coffee shop lived up to my expectations.

I was under the influence of the Bloomsbury group upon entering Store St Espresso. We had walked from Bloomsbury St into Gower St and at No. 10 I spotted the blue plaque of Lady Ottoline Morrell. I knew it was there, yet my heart skipped a beat. She wasn't exactly a member of the group but she was a patron of the arts and if you have read the diaries and letters of e.g. Virginia Woolf you will know Ottoline. This was my state of mind when I ordered my latte.

It was a very warm and sunny day in the city and we had done a lot of walking when I sat down and had my first sip; it was superb. Store St Espresso is my idea of a good café. It has that minimalist, rustic look with industrial touches. The atmosphere is ideal; it's an unpretentious café. The guests seem to mind their own business, on their laptops, phones or reading. I guess some would call this a place for hipsters but while I sat there I noticed all kinds of people with one thing in common, there to enjoy their coffee.

The location of Store St Espresso is great. The street is quiet, close to parks and The British Museum. I urge you to grab a coffee if you happen to be in the neighbourhood. Well, I urge you to eat in. There is a great window nook if you like people-watching and in fine weather you can sit outdoors.

I am not done with my trip on the blog but during our stay I certainly got my London fix. My mind is still wandering the streets of Bloomsbury, thinking of Virginia Woolf and her circle of friends. It's also lingering at the Tate, admiring O'Keeffe's paintings. Fortunately, the Scottish summer turned on its charm when we got home, enabling me to start writing this on the patio with a cup of coffee, and finishing on a chair in the front of the house, next to the hydrangeas, while admiring the sunset.

How I love August days like these!


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