Those who know me best can only criticise my attitude as being ‘snobbish’ for two things; my love of fine whisky and my absolute insistence that the only way to drink coffee is to have it fresh, black and strong. It is the only way. Fact. This in mind, and 2013 being the year of style, I have set out on a mission, nay a crusade, to find the best coffee house in London. I know what you are thinking … how selfless am I? The only problem, where to start?
I decided, whilst on route to help out with summer school this year, to stay on the train a couple of stops longer and swing by Talkhouse Coffee, based in Notting Hill. Having timed my journey so I arrived 30 minutes before the coffee bar opened (not my finest moment) I could only look on in anticipation as I witnessed the coffee house being transformed from a dark and empty room to a hive of activity from within. Whilst I waited, I had the unique opportunity to witness Notting Hill waking up for the day’s trading. I have never felt more like a coffee addict!
With the doors being opened I rushed inside. Once inside, I was greeted by an intimate seating area decked out with sleek and fashionable furnishings, at a guess based on a Scandinavian theme? I then ordered an espresso made with the Workshop ‘Cult of Done Espresso’ which is 100% Kenyan beans with a “Juicy, sweet mandarins and bright, berry acidity lead in the cup, underpinned with a rich, syrupy finish”. Although it was a tad citrusy for my taste, I was certainly able to appreciate it! I decided to treat myself to a fresh doughnut made by the famous St. John’s Bakery. I am a firm believer that if you choose not to bake your goods fresh in store then you should buy it in from a quality wholesaler. The obvious excellence of St. John’s Bakery need not be explained, but Talkhouse certainly did not disappoint with these little gems!
The barista herself was knowledgeable, friendly and enthusiastic about her trade which led to a very pleasant purchasing experience. It was also nice to discuss my recent trip to Copenhagen with her and to swap notes on our favourite coffee places over there with a friendly chat about which was better, the ‘Coffee Collective’ or the ‘Coffee Laboratory’. All things considered, Talkhouse Coffee sets a good standard and is well worth a visit if you find yourself at Notting Hill.