A Kiwi’s café fix in London
by Veronica Fu
In my quest to become a Londoner, I went on the hunt for some of the best cafés and brunch spots in the city that would give me all the know-how of a local but equally met the high standards of any born and bred Kiwi like myself. Armed with Bimble in my pocket and a handful of reliable recommendations from friends, join me as I bimble in London for a Kiwi café fix.
One of my main grievances when I came to the UK was the surprising lack of ‘proper’ cafés. Hear me out. In my humble and unbiased opinion, New Zealand has one of the best café (and coffee) cultures in the world. Brits, you’ll find, will go to the pub at any and all hours of the day to socialise but in New Zealand the café is where you go to meet your friends and catch up over a coffee. So, when I first arrived and didn’t see at least three cafés on every corner in London, safe to say, I was dumbfounded (and even more so when I first saw London brunch prices…) Luckily with Bimble I’ve been introduced to a number of brilliant independent cafés around London and on my adventures, have had the chance to discover some new neighbourhoods and enjoy the shockingly good weather.
Onto the hunt — if you’re in the West, Ginger & Moore is Ealing’s cool, independent café; conveniently located right by the station and allowing for a nice pre-/post-lunch stroll through the nearby park, I was pleasantly surprised by reasonable prices and solid brunch vibes. The café is bigger than it looks (there’s a whole downstairs area!) and gets lots of light from the tall front windows.
After Ginger & Moore, I headed east to Elder Press Café in Hammersmith. Despite having stayed in Fulham before, I’d never actually ventured past Fulham Broadway. We walked from Hammersmith Station to the café — you can take the tube practically to the café’s doorstep, but the longer walk allows for a detour along the riverside and through the tranquil green space of Upper Mall Open Space, which I really recommend.
A true hidden gem, Elder Press was established in 2019, and currently offers a fun variety of dishes for breakfast and lunch, ranging from classic brunch dishes like granola and chia pots, to seasonal cavatelli pasta and Vietnamese pancake. There’s also a lovely outdoor seating area where many visitors brought their dogs (!); the serene riverside surroundings, coupled with the airy, open café space, was exactly what I needed.
Finally, we visited Kaffeine, one of the two cafes in Fitzrovia opened by Melbourne native Peter Dore-Smith. The café’s ‘About us’ states that the owner was ‘inspired by the amazing coffee culture in Australia and New Zealand’, so obviously I had to visit. We went to the one on Great Titchfield Street, but if that one gets too busy for you, there’s always the Eastcastle location, only a couple streets away. The café itself is compact and tucked into the (relatively more) peaceful side of Fitzrovia, away from the hustle and bustle of Chinatown and Covent Garden. Finding this spot with Antipodean roots was unexpectedly delightful and inspiring, so I know I’ll be revisiting. (The coffee at Kaffeine is reliably good; us Kiwis/Aussies know our coffee.)
Through the process of visiting my friends’ favourite places, exploring more of London, and (more or less) successfully navigating the tube, I feel more settled in this city, one step closer to being able to call it home. And having all of their recommendations in one place means that when someone asks me which café to go to when you want good coffee, or which for good eggs and avo I can recommend the place straight from my Bimble.
…Oh, we could go to Kaffeine, have you been?
Catch my full list of recommendations with the Kiwi stamp of approval over at Bimble
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