Walking down Berwick Street the other day, I peered into Flat White and thought I’d give it a go for a coffee, rather than my usual Foxcroft & Ginger. I’ve always thought that great coffee aside, it was just a little too sceney and judgemental, and preferred the more relaxed space down at F&G.
London’s come a long way when you can even have a conversation about two top quality coffee outlets thrashing it out on the one street. With Milk Bar, Fernandez &Wells (x3), Sacred and several others in the vicinity, we really don’t have to look so far to get a good coffee these days. Where I work in EC1, we’re equally blessed (Dose, St Ali, Caravan, Farm), but most areas are still lacking.
The coffee here is Square Mile (to Foxcroft’s Monmouth) and expertly made and presented. The food on offer is more extensive but less gourmet. They offer the simple staples of an Antipodean brunch, so eggs benedict, Greek yoghurt, tomato on toast etc… rather than fancy sandwiches and cakes. It lacks the aesthetic 'counter of temptation' they have at Foxcroft, but seems to have more of a full service kitchen. I only had a whit-choc and raspberry muffin which was fine, so yeah. Not much to say on that!
I liked Flat White more than I thought. For some reason I’ve always assumed you go to one or the other, and I felt disloyal popping in. But perhaps you can café hop in the same way frequenting different pubs doesn’t bring the guilt. Staff weren't the coffee-snob monsters I'd read about either, both were very sweet.
The more establishments selling decent coffee, the less Starbucks and Costas we’ll see everywhere. Surely that's worth a bit of brotherhood. They’re probably friends anyway, I can picture them now all: “Can I borrow an avo, bro!” - "Yeah sweet as mate, too easy" and so on.
Still posery as hell and feels like a backpackers’s canteen (with iPads), but I’m thankful for it nonetheless.