In yesterday’s post I mentioned that one of the great things about walking around a city is that there are coffee shops to stumble across. Usually what I’d mean by this is that there’s a coffee shop which is likely to also sell beverages that aren’t coffee, nice cakes and good sandwiches.
However, on my last day trip to London I actually had some coffee. This may not seem strange to some but I don’t usually drink coffee. It’s taken me a long while to like tiramisu let alone anything else.
I get that the taste of coffee is something that can be acquired over time but it’s never really been a taste I’ve wished or felt the need to get used to. So, what was different? The coffee shop I had stumbled across, Freestate Coffee had tasting notes on the blackboard and it sounded like a more interesting option than tea or hot chocolate and not what I’d usually associate coffee with.
When you think of the taste of coffee, you think of well… coffee. Yet the tasting notes mentioned fresh berries and chocolate – so much more enticing right? The only thing about not usually drinking coffee and wanting to try one is that you’re baffled when you’re asked what type of coffee you want. After informing that the barista I don’t usually drink coffee (cue odd look) she mentioned that a cappuccino is quite milky and could be a good entry-level choice.
With my drink chosen, I also ordered the beetroot, brie and mango chutney sandwich I’d eyed up on the way in and paid. All in all it came to between £7-8 and I waited for my coffee at the counter before taking a seat on the bench outside.
Whilst I was perching myself outside, the sandwich was toasted and brought out once it was ready. Encompassed in a seeded bun, the beetroot, brie and chutney was just warmed through and wonderfully delicious. I’d been intrigued by the flavour combinations and they were spot on complimenting the slightly bitter taste of the coffee (which emerged once I’d drank the top bit with most of the milk in).
Freestate’s location means that it’s a little further from the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden but still close enough to venture to for a good lunch. I’d recommend popping in if you’re nearby and I have a feeling that I may be detouring there myself the next time I’m in London. Whether or not I try coffee again will depend on their tasting notes…
Freestate Coffee, 23 Southampton Row, London, WC1B 5HA
Near Enough is a series of blog posts about travel in the UK. To see other posts about places to visit, click here.