5 Apr 2011

UKCW day #2

So I have to write this down now because I have an awful memory and currently my head is full of guitar chords and confusing political philosophy.

I was in London to see Cold Cave (dreamy) and decided to try out some places I hadn't had a chance to before I moved. First up was Prufrock at Leather Lane. Now, I have been a huge fan of Prufrock @ Present, even with their unpredictable stocking of soy milk. Which leads me to the beginning of my experience at the new shop...

"Can I have a flat white with soy please"
"We don't do soy milk"
"Oh, ok, I'll take a long black then, thanks!"
(server turns to barista: "one americano")
"Take a seat, we'll bring it over"

So I await my coffee, checking out the large if somewhat clinical interior.

"Here's your flat white"
"Actually I ordered a long black..."
"Well do you want to try it anyway?"
"...I don't drink milk..."

Ok so it's an easy mistake to make but there were no other customers waiting for a drink and "flat white" does not sound like "long black" OR "americano". Anyway, it's a small gripe, and honestly it was the best long black I have ever had. Fucking phenomenal. Wish I had stayed for another.

Next up was the convoluted Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. In terms of atmosphere, it was cheese to the chalk of Prufrock. My barista was very friendly and we talked about Taylor St in Brighton as well as our favorite places to get coffee locally. I ordered my usual soy flat white. They definitely used Bonsoy (yay) and it was the perfect size. I continued my pretentious note-taking in the comfort of the small, cosy back room.

Much to my chagrin, one cannot live off grapes and coffee alone and by this point I was feeling a little shaky. As I had been walking around the city for a while now I had to briefly collapse at a Cafe Nero (I know, I know) so I could eat my rice cakes and catfood chickpea pate. I got a soy latte with sugar-free vanilla syrup, It set my teeth on edge a little but also did the job of energizing me enough that I could face hitting the Topshop mothership in order to try on 6 pairs of Levis which I was absolutely not going to pay £90 for.

Last but not least on my small adventure was Notes, Music and Coffee which had been recommended to me by several fellow snobs. This place is niiiiiiice. It's pretty much in Theater district opposite the National Portrait Gallery. The interior is very pretty and there's a bunch of seating, fancy chandeliers, long and impressive bar laden with shiny La Marzocco's. They brew with Square Mile, they use Bonsoy, my barista was adorably weird and super friendly. I can safely say the soy flat white was an 8/10. Very good. Not spectacular but how often do you drink a 10/10 coffee? Atmosphere plays a big part for me anyway and I would absolutely say try this place if you're in the West End (which is a fucking awful part of London if you didn't already know that).

Then I went to Cold Cave and swooned for a good hour, gazing up at W.Eisold dressed in decidedly Marc Bolan attire and unashamedly singing every word to all the songs.

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