On closer inspection, there were more folk in civvies than in cycling attire, and the staff were incredibly welcoming. No exclusive cyclist ghetto is this, unlike the terror of deigning to perch on the wall where Poland St meets Broadwick.
Focaccia was a good size and price (£4.50) for these parts, especially when eating in and it’s grilled and served with a decent handful of dressed salad. It was packed full of prosciutto, mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, and a great lunch. My long black was delicious – I believe they’re moved from Monmouth Beans to Square Mile.
Interestingly, it was predominantly male and is effectively a very blokey coffee joint. Any ‘coffee date’ I have with a male friend inevitably results in a brief stand-off before one caves in to proclaim “fuck it, fancy a pint?”, and the faux-intentions of coffee are long consigned to history. But at Rapha there are actually plenty of guys having a coffee together. Talking tats. And hedge funds.
They sell booze (a short, eclectic wine list and Kernel beers) and with some music on, it wouldn’t be too shabby a place to come for a quick evening drink, or a cheeky afternoon one. And I thoroughly enjoyed the buzzy, original surroundings too, which reminded me of the many ‘concept’ café-in-retail offerings in Tokyo. I look forward to returning for the braised beef brioche – effectively pie filling encased in a brioche bun, which at £3.50 seems great value.