Thomas – Middlesex University, UK
Semester 2, 2016
I have now been in London for just over a month now which is pretty hard to believe. In between trips to Copenhagen, Malmö, and Oxford, I have managed to spend my Monday’s off uni exploring various areas of London. Today I decided to see the sights of Shoreditch, a region of London similar to that of Fitzroy of Melbourne for those unfamiliar. This area is renowned for its cafe culture and good coffee; something of a rarity outside Australia. From exploring I have compiled a list of the best Cafes to visit and study in throughout the region, as listed below:
The Shoreditch Grind
The Shoreditch grind is situated on a busy intersection making for great people watching. From my experience I’m pretty sure the cafe is run by Australians which is fairly common when discovering good coffee in London. The cafe had the classic Australian breakfast (Smashed Avo and all) and great coffee. Was easy to find and busy which made for a good atmosphere.
Kahaila is a cool little cafe situated on infamous Brick Lane. It appeared closed upon arrived but after discovering the windows were just tinted I entered and found some awesome coffee. This cafe has heaps of room to study, was warm, and the staff were friendly. This cafe’s point of difference was its affiliation with various women’s projects in the region, where it supports financially through the year which I thought was pretty cool.
Hoxton Grill is primarily a restrauant with what appeared to be a good menu. I stuck to the front area which was full of what appeared to be Uni students and their computers studying. From the outside it looked really expensive but was a normal priced coffee (for London standards) and was a really good place to study with heaps of lounges and bar tables to work it. The service was awesome as well, so if you need to study, Hoxton is recommended. If you want an awesome coffee, maybe not.
Paper & Cup
This very small cafe is situated on a back street ensuring I needed google maps to help me find it. It had a really good fit out and had lots of cheap options for food. It’s point of difference was that it had a wall full of books which the staff encouraged customers to utilise whilst having a coffee, which I thought was cool. It was very quiet so a good place to study, and the food was great but again, not the best of coffee. All round a decent cafe however and worth a try.
Look Mum, No Hands!
This cafe cross bike shop had a really cool atmosphere and was filled with bike and no bike riders from everywhere. The bicycles were hung everywhere, and with long tables in the middle of the cafe it made it easy to get distracted from the study, but was great to see something different in London. Had some awesome coffee too.
All in all, it was good to experience a different aspect of the culture of London and see another region of the city whilst doing some study. Exchange is so good for seeing and doing different things to what you do in your home city, but it’s sometimes nice to see the influence Australia has on the region, and that was very clear in many of these cafes.