In a city that gets little sleep, it’s no wonder that there’s a growing number of high-quality coffee shops helping to fuel London’s inhabitants. Whilst many of my favourites close their doors shortly after office hours, I recently discovered the perks of Soho Grind (sibling of the better known Shoreditch Grind) by day and by night. Making the tricky transition look easy.
Mid-morning, mid-week, Soho, I found myself in need of caffeine and a treat. It had been a while since I’d been somewhere new so I tracked down one of the latest additions to the Grind & Co family along Beak Street. Its old school cinema-style signage, street art and elements of red is a big hint towards its East London heritage.
I ordered my usual cappuccino and pain au chocolat and sat by the window. Soho is a great place to people watch as the streets barely stop with passing workers and visitors, but I was also lucky enough to enjoy the warmth of a glowing autumnal morning.
Each branch offers the group’s own coffee blend, roasted exclusively and delivered to site every few days. And yes it is pretty tasty.
It’s a compact coffee shop, offering a small collection of seats upstairs, making it best for solo visits, small groups and takeaways.
But whilst visiting I spotted its downstairs den, better for groups and the evening offerings I’d heard about.
I don’t usually drink coffee later in the day but London Cocktail Week called and I spotted Soho Grind on the list. I couldn’t resist finding out how the evening compares to the day and sampling its Espresso Martini for just £4. (More on LCW 2014 to come!)
Down in the basement you’ll find low leather booths and tall stools, opposite a well-stocked bar.
Like upstairs it’s compact, but downstairs its cosy with low lights and candles. I’d persuaded Lucinda (who’s more of a tea/cocktail drinker) to join me. We ordered our Espresso Martinis and a small charcuterie plate. Food demolished in minutes, here’s the prettier order of the evening.
As someone who loves tea and coffee but is never quite sure about chilled options, this went down rather well. Smooth and not too strong, you get a nice caffeine buzz with a side of evening alcohol.
Soho Grind proves coffee shops can do day and night as well as a restaurant, true to its own style throughout. I’d definitely recommend it for an hour of daydreaming and watching the world go by, or to take a friend or date for a relaxed evening drink.
Have you found a place in the city you’ve enjoyed by day and by night?