In London are a lot of coffee shops, almost on every corner of every street you can get a cup of coffee or tea. Now I don’t drink coffee myself, but I love tea. Out of all these coffee shops there are actually 4 really big ones. Named in order of my personal preference: Starbucks, Costa, Pret a Manger and Cafe Nero.
In my opinion they’re all very different and for that reason worth writing about. I like to get a quick take away tea, but I like it even more to sit down to truly enjoy it.
Now and then I bring my laptop and I work for a few hours. Sometimes I work for half an hour and then take a little break to look around, watch people come an go or to look at the busy streets. It happens that I have a lovely random conversation with somebody and sometimes I work for 2 hours straight without looking up. I love working like this. It’s a good balance and it helps me concentrate.
Let’s start with my absolute favourite: ‘Starbucks’! I’ll tel you why I love Starbucks so much. There are a lot of them, they have very very big cups, their green tea is perfect and they have cinnamon at the self service bar. When I’m at Starbucks I always order the same: venti green tea with 1/4 of soy milk. Then I mix in about 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon.. It’s my favourite drink ever! It’s not a very common drink, apart from the people I introduced to it already, I really am the only one who orders it. After I order they always ask to check if I really meant green tea with soy milk. Everybody think it’s weird, until they taste it. So let’s make it a new drink, go and try it! The only thing about Starbucks is that, apart from some fruit, nuts(very nice almonds though), a muesli bar and little dark chocolate bar, they don’t have a lot of vegan snacks. But luckily my venti green tea is very filling.. Though it would be nice if Starbucks had some vegan snacks available. There is a rumour that they’re busy creating some, but until now I haven’t seen any.
My favourite Starbucks is the one in Portobello Road. I go here about 2-3 times a week. It’s not big and on Saturdays it’s crazy busy, but it has big windows and you can watch all the interesting Portobello Road people passing by. When the weather is nice the windows can open all the way, which I really love. Oh and for all the tourists, next to this Starbucks is the famous ‘Blue Door’ from the movie ‘Notting Hill’.
My second best coffee shop is ‘Costa’. The tea they use is from Twinnings, which I only like with soy milk. It’s tasty like that, but just plain I find it too bitter. It would of been nice if they had big cups like Starbucks, but their cups are more medium sized. Though the good thing about these cups is that you don’t need the sleeves if it’s too hot. Less waste!
They’re also not great with their snacks. I tried the fruit crumble bar for this review as I noticed a lot of vegans go for this option, but it was a bit too sweet for my liking. If you have a very sweet tooth, you’ll probably love it.
The Costa in Hammersmith is one of my favourites, as I love the interior there and you have a big seating area up stairs. They used very nice basic colours and I love the big red lamp up stairs. Great eye catcher! They have sofa’s with cushions, which are lovely to have a nice afternoon chat with friends or to watch the people passing by. There is also a lot of work tables, what makes it perfect to bring your laptop over and work there for a few hours. I think it’s a good mix of seats. And very handy.. they have toilets!
PRET A MANGER
Now, I actually think ‘Pret a Manger’ should share the 2nd place with Costa, because they have a lot of vegan food options and they’re very tasty. Also Pret a Manger is organic, which I love! Food wise it should definitely be on the first place. The only thing is that I’m not a big fan of their tea. It’s ok, but Costa and definitely Starbucks are a lot better.
Now the food.. They basically have complete meals, which are all handmade. For example, there is a falafel salad, avocado sandwiches and I went this time for the avocado&chickpeas wrap, which is delicious. So you can easily have a quick lunch here. They also have a lot of delicious smoothies and juices and little snacks like dried fruit, nuts, crisps and fresh fruit. Also Pret a Manger marked all their food. So you can easily see if something is vegan or not. I love it!
In general all the Pret a Manger coffee shops are nice and light, but I like the one at Marble Arch. It’s a very busy one, but you can sit up stairs and it’s a good start (or end) when you go shopping in Oxford Street. The only thing about Pret a Manger is that most of them have no customer toilets and I always think it’s handy to have toilets at a place where they serve tea..
Last one.. Cafe Nero. To be honest, I never go to Cafe Nero. Unless there is really nothing else around and I really crave a tea I will go, but I just don’t have a connection with this coffee shop. I think it’s because a lot of Cafe Nero’s are quite dark or something. It’s probably in the name, haha.. It just doesn’t attract me. The tea is alright, just not outstanding.
For this article I went to the one opposite of Ladbroke Grove station, which is quite a nice one with the big windows(light.. ) and the quiet seats in the back. I like that they sell ‘Yoyo Bears’ here, but apart from that there are not a lot of vegan snacks. Just a bag of crisps and a little bar of dark chocolate and that’s kind of it.
Which one is your favourite coffee shop out of these 4? And please let me know if you tried the ‘venti green tea with soy milk and cinnamon’. It’s really worth trying, I promise! Leave a comment or show me using #PlanetManel so I can see it! Thank you!