Coffee with Currys

Have I mentioned that I *quite* like coffee? Coffee is my happiness when times are hard, it’s my bit on the side of life. But sometimes coffee plays hard to get i.e. it’s raining outside and I don’t want to get out of my pajamas. At home my parents have a Nespresso machine, and I have seriously toyed with the idea of getting one myself purely for the lazy rainy days of London.

It’s not that Nespresso makes the best coffee in the world, I think the independent roasters in London can take that crown. I find it really hard to make consistently good coffee at home even when I’m grinding the beans myself and what the Nespresso offers is a consistently good coffee – I’m talking coffee that even my Dad can make.

Anyway a couple of months ago I was invited to a Nespresso blogging event. The idea with these events is to get a group of bloggers in a room and introduce them to the product, and if they like it they will share with their readers. And for this Runawaykiwi it means turning extremely awkward in a room full of strangers and embarrassing myself somehow – this was no exception.

When I arrived I learned two things, first there was a Twitter competition to win a Nespresso machine running throughout the day, and secondly that my team of bloggers would be starting at the cocktail station. What could go wrong right?

After making (and downing) two coffee and rum cocktails I was both caffeinated and drunk. Imagine a slurry energiser bunny with a kiwi accent. It was at this ‘might get kicked out’ stage that I got AN AWESOME IDEA.

So I hid myself in a corner and, ah … tweeted a bit. Drunk caffeinated me wanted to win the Nespresso machine so I could always feel this phenomenal. Clearly the only thing that would win me coffee glory was solving world peace (read from the bottom up)…

Coffee with Nespresso war

Since winning the machine I have a new routine in the mornings. In my normal WHY THE FUCK AM I AWAKE daze I throw a pod in the machine and make a decent coffee in about ten seconds, then as I am doing my makeup and watching Blackadder, Nespresso slowly turns me human and ready to face the day.

Chur bro.

 

 

Find a good flat white in London

Since the day I arrived in London coffee has been my luxury. I might not have been able to afford flash restaurants or weekend trips away (or even my rent to be honest) but I could fill my weekends with good coffee. For less than £3 I could sit in a heartrendingly hip London cafe, sip a flat white and dream big.

After almost three years here and an estimated 1,825 cups of coffee it really grinds my gears when people say “there is no good coffee in London”… fuck off back to your ignorant hobbit hole you decaffeinated little turd. There is some amazing coffee to be had in London, and most of it has made its way here via the antipodes. So I present to you my favourite spots, tried and tested time and time again – read on to discover where to find a good flat white in London.

To see them all on a map click here

White Mulberries

White Mullberries London

These guys have a really soft squishy special place in my heart. One of the first good coffee places I discovered in London, and because it looks out over the yachts of St Katherine Docks it reminds me of home. Tiny but amazing, especially if you can snag a seat outside next to the water. They have spot on coffee every single time and a great range of tempting counter food; oh and they once saved me a doughnut when I tweeted them #service

Notes of Music and Coffee

Notes of music and coffee

Another sentimental one for me, I first discovered these guys when I was visiting the National Gallery every weekend (even if you are not into art, come winter the National Gallery is a) warm and b) free). Beautiful coffee that they roast themselves, and if you sit there long enough the coffee turns to wine. They also have a barrow down at Borough Market which I always make a bee line to when I visit (I’m less likely to punch a tourist if I am pre-caffeinated).

Grounded Coffee Company

Grounded Coffee Company London

This is the new kid on the block and I love. Uniquely for London there is actually a fair bit of seating here, and the doors open up completely which makes you feel like you’re in a different city entirely. They also do a cracking brunch, but this cafe is so new that it missed out on my favourite brunch spots list… so it wound up here!

Flat White Soho

Flat White Soho amaze balls

I know, with a name like that would you expect anything else? Very tight on seating, but perfect to grab a coffee to go before you brave the crazy that is Oxford Street. If you are lucky they will also have their legendary Amazeballs which are essentially the balls of the gods and must be consumed in multiples of two.

The cafe with no name

Cafe with no name

Ok it actually does have a name, The Exmouth Coffee Company. But since it has no damn sign outside it is forever being described as The Cafe with No Name, and thus it is what everyone calls it. Again very consistent coffee (do I need to keep saying this, its a list of good coffee?), plus some delicious counter food including a bar that is just caramel and pecans NOTHING ELSE.

Fernandez and Wells

Fernandez and Wells

Mostly focussing on cured meats and cheese, they are the perfect spot for a mid-touristing coffee. The outlook over the courtyard of Somerset House is something truly special.

Timberyard

Timberyard Salted Caramel Affogato

Do yourself a favour and go to Timberyard this summer, order the Salted Caramel Affogato and then accept that you will never have such joy dancing across your taste buds as you do at this moment. For all you health conscious freaks of nature that don’t believe in ice cream first thing on a Sunday morning they also do a kick ass flat white and other treats such as peanut butter brownie.

Prufrock

Prufrock London coffee machine

Prufrock is the shit, if I was going to stage a hostile takeover and move my bed into a cafe it would be Prufrock that got the unholy honour. This place is huge by London standards and has free wifi so is ideal for blog hopping. If you go it’s almost compulsory to get a brownie bite to go with your flat white, and if you are a true rebel you will let it soak up the dregs (trust me on this).

Fields

Feilds Cafe Clapham

Ok so I HATED the brunch here, it was a weirdly coloured salt city on a plate. However the coffee was on point and served in a very cute little bubble glass. So I would return just for the flat white if I ever ventured south of the river.

Fuckoffee

Bermondsy Street Coffee

These guys are worth a visit just to get the coffee card alone. Now don’t be confused when you don’t see the ever glorious flat white on the menu, its written up there at ‘fat wife’…I can’t speak for the sense of humour but the coffee it worth the pretense. A sister cafe to Brick Lane Coffee, both cafes have some very cool art on the walls and music tends to be pumping all day. With a tag line of ‘come happy leave edgy’ you know the coffee is strong and should be injected directly into the eyeballs.

Watch House Coffee

Watch House Coffee

Crap I love this place, so damn cute. It’s worth a visit just to check out the curved wooden benches with inbuilt USB ports for charging your phone. Go early because it is a cafe that is slightly smaller than life-sized.

The Wren

The Wren Flat White London

You walk inside and feel like you are walking on hallowed ground. Although given that the Wren is good coffee in the chain coffee death zone that is the area between St Pauls and Tate Modern maybe it is just a little bit holy. When the law finally changes and lets me marry coffee I will hold the ceremony in front of the stained glass of the Wren. #singleforever

Cream

Cream shoreditch

The first time I wen’t I wasn’t a huge fan of their flat white (too milky for my taste) but it makes the list because coffee lovers I respect rave about it, and fuck it everyone has their own taste in coffee (maybe I just need to order down a cup size??). Plus this cafe makes you feel like you have been transported to Titirangi by lining the walls with plants and light. Very very chillaxing.

Curators Coffee Gallery

Curators Coffee Gallery Matcha Flat White

I think these guys do good coffee. I say that because I made a grave error here by trying a matcha flat white because all the other hipsters mums let them do it. The most positive review I could give a matcha flat white is that it tastes like a really nice pond scum…NB I don’t like green tea so no idea what I was thinking even trying it. The coffee I had afterwards was good but I was so busy retching over bits of pond scum that I think it might have been amazing and I just didn’t notice.

Holborn Grind

Holborn Grind

Part of the Grind chain you can always be sure of two things when you visit – that you will get a really good flat white and that apple computers will outnumber actual conversations.

Tonic Coffee Bar

Tonic Coffee London

If you are brave enough to get off the tube and walk through the mini-New York that is Piccadilly Circus then Tonic can be your reward. No seating but great coffee so worth adding an extra couple of minutes onto your City Mapper journey so you can pick up a flat white on the move.

Freestate Coffee

Freestate Coffee London

This place is always packed and rightfully so with coffee as good as this. Even being the introvert that I am I ask to share a table with a stranger just so I can imbibe the perfect flat white on the spot.

 

Brunch spots that I love

Runawaykiwi in a box

Hello ducks

Its been a long couple of weeks at Runawaykiwi Towers. For those not in the know, I am an event manager by day and we are now 22 days away from my next biggie: One Live London. It an amazing beast to be working on, but also stressful enough for my colleagues to pack me in a box for a bit to calm me down. The video from my last event is below, and trust me when I say that it doesn’t event begin to show the passion of the day. I think I am going to schedule a few posts to go out in the next few weeks, because my life is all about One Live right now.

I am so excited for this bank holiday weekend, honestly could not have come at a better time (thanks bank holiday scheduling gods!). I’m going to be as anti-technology as possible this weekend, because I know what I’m like, I’ll turn my laptop on to blog and wind up five hours later buried in a risk assessment or loading bay plan. So three days of a closed laptop, phone on airplane mode and flat whites on tap it is! Its crazy how much time I spend in front of a screen, I mean it is work, hobby and how I connect with my friends (and how I avoid getting lost in London!). I might go to extremes and try to replace my online life with IRL, real time fruit ninja anyone?

Some seriously good times have been had amongst this stress ball fun. I went for an evening of perfume and cocktails with Jess and Emma last week, which started well when we were sat at the same table as a couple on a first date – yes we of course were totally unobtrusive and did not mock the guy at all*. None of us were quite sure what the event was, but I had just the most amazing time sitting in a train station talking absolute bullocks with two of the coolest chicks I know. Sometimes you just don’t realise how much you needed your friends until you are sitting next to them, pairing shots with perfumes and whispering nonsense.

Blixen London

What else to update you on?  Oh there is a wicked cool new brunch spot near Liverpool Street. Its called Blixen and the design/fit out is beautiful. The important bit of course is that I would marry the barista the coffee was so good, and they were more than happy with my request to change out spinach for avocado. Winning so hard I went back three times in three days #fangirl

Anyway things on my non-technology horizon this weekend is to discover a couple of new coffee places, try on dresses for my sisters wedding (if you see any white dresses tweet me!) and I might even make a cake.

Love you kids, life may be stressful but by god it is fun.

Xx

 

*lies all lies, we were horrific.

Alpress Espresso Flat White
The London Coffee Festival is on at the Old Truman Brewery this weekend, I ran down in my lunch break today to see what caffeinated fun was on offer DEAR GOD LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES.

1. There is no such thing as too much coffee

Seriously I am a coffee drinking machine, I laugh at this puny coffee festival. I am the master of the bean FLAT WHITE ME BABY.

2. Yes there are a lot of hipsters at a coffee festival, but also just a lot of normal people that like coffee too

Even though the London Coffee Festival was in Shoreditch not everyone there had a beard. I even put away my Python-esque beard that I normally wear out in hipster areas of London. I would go as far as to say there were people there today who were just Londoners who liked coffee. There were even tea stands there for people who don’t like coffee…but we don’t talk about those weirdos.

3. There are some new style coffee roasters out there who are not at all snobby

Assembly Coffee Roasters

I met Rory from Assembly coffee and I might or might not have fallen in love with him. I mean I told him that I was after his espresso, but actually that was my way of proposing marriage (seriously Rory, tweet me #iloveyou). Anyway Assembly coffee is a roaster without the snobbery, it is a cafe collective that allows the drinker to discover the flavours for themselves. The cool blend logos give hints to what flavours you could pick up in the beans (yellow for lemon etc), but at the end of the day if you like it, drink it.

4. There are coffee roasters outside London

Freehand Coffee Roasters

The name caught my eye, the artwork drew me in, the coffee made me stay. Freehand coffee is a roaster from Cornwall (apparently this is outside Zone 1???) that only launched YESTERDAY. I know, brave guys starting their business amongst the stiff competition of the London Coffee Festival. The coffee was super smooth and is one I will be keeping my eye out for.

5. I still feel sad 5 hours later that I missed Timberyard

Timberyard is a weekend favorite of mine, and I was looking out for them. When I discovered after I left that they had been serving boozy salted caramel affogatos a solitary tear rolled down my cheek. Those affogatos are my magic trick for making a depressed weekend come right, and adding booze? My god it might have been better than kittens. Any chance of this making an appearance at your cafes Timberyard gods?

6. I can be bribed.

Fields Cafe Bribe

A strange man came up to me and offered me a bribe. I turned it down because I am a totally ethical blogger (lies I 100% took it and it was for a kick ass coffee at Fields).

7. When confronted by a flat white sized Keep Cup the answer is yes

phoenix_sx_368x438

How the hell did I become the sort of person who has TWO Keep Cups. I might have had about four coffees by this point and as soon as I saw they had a special flat white (6oz) cup it just had to be mine. Apologies to everyone nearby who hears me yell Ermahgerd FLAT WHITE at the top of my caffeinated lungs.

8. Some people don’t understand Instagram

Not kidding, when I asked one roaster (who shall remain nameless) if I could take a picture of their coffee they looked really confused and asked “why?”. Ummm I don’t know maybe because it was the press/industry day at the festival and bloggers like photos? The reason it remains nameless wasn’t because of the photo thing…it was because the coffee was just meh.

9. There is such a thing as too much coffee

Turns out that having 6 shots of coffee in an hour while on your lunch break is TOO MUCH COFFEE. For the rest of the afternoon I was typing at the speed of sound but all it said was COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE

Orphans Kitchen Brunch

Because what is a trip to Auckland without a serious amount of brunch? Two highlights for me were Orphans Kitchen in Ponsonby and Dear Jervois on Jervois Road, both suggested by my big sister. As mentioned before in New Zealand it’s not about just getting the poached eggs right, its all about brunch innovation. I genuinely can’t think of a café in London that even comes close to matching these two in the innovation stakes. I think you could say that Duck and Waffle et al are comparable food wise, but they are high concept restaurants, these Auckland beauties are just humble cafes. Humble cafes that kick the London offering to the curb.

Orphans Kitchen

My visit to Orphans Kitchen got off to a sunny and entertaining start. The table next to us was obviously a group of old friends, but when the waiter went over to take their order there was a shriek and hugs all around. Turns out one of the group had just come back from overseas, but instead of a normal off the plane welcome had decided to pose as a waiter in Orphans Kitchen to surprise them, super cute.

Brunch at Orphans Kitchen Auckland

The food here was tricky, I honestly couldn’t find anything I wanted on the menu. Talk about innovation, there was no easy ‘poached eggs with bacon’ offering here, and I just couldn’t picture the end product from what was on the menu. But getting hangry I let my sister choose for me, and by gods it was good. Mum went for the breakfast panna cotta with kiwifruit and buffalo milk (why had no one thought of a breakfast panna cotta before?!?!), my sister for the black rice pudding with tamarillo, blood orange, and banana (above) and chosen for me was the  roasted avocado with bacon, feijoa and vine tomatoes…heaven.

Dear Jervois

Dear Jervois brunch

Dear Jervois was an interesting one, I LOVED it and my parents had the opposite view. It was all down to how busy it was. In London I am 100% used to battling the crowds to get to food, and while I refuse to wait for brunch I find sitting cheek by jowl totally normal. My parents however are used to the kiwi luxury of a more peaceful spaced out brunch, which is not what you get at the very popular Dear Jervois.

Dear Jervois sage fried eggs

But as always the food is most important. Well maybe not the coffee is important to and we had to send back the first round because they were cold. Eh. Anyway the food was yum, the highlight for me was the sage fried eggs that just did something stratospheric to my taste buds. I would have married those eggs if I could. And the interior was beautiful, for those who did have to wait they wrote their names in a chalk pen on the tiled wall. Love.

Oh and the second round of coffee was AMAZING.

Dear Jervois coffee