For many people, especially fast-paced city dwellers, enjoying a freshly brewed latte, cappuccino (or whatever your caffeine-fuelled weapon of choice may be) has become something of a ritual. However, just because it is something you do every day, it doesn’t mean that you must sip your coffee in surroundings that are dull, dreary and uninspiring. There are many unusual places in London that can provide the energy boost you need with an incredible view, helping mornings become that bit more manageable.
Sky Garden, Sky Garden Walk
Nearest tube: Monument
One for the freelancers or to save for a day earmarked for a lie in and some casual shopping. Some of the eateries in Sky Garden don’t open until 10am and entrance is free, although it is best to book in advance, meaning this isn’t the place you could just pop in to if you’re planning an early start for a day of sightseeing. However, taking the time to plan a trip to this rooftop venue is certainly worth the effort. There are five bars and restaurants to choose from, all offering jaw-dropping views of central London with landmarks such as The Shard clear to see. Of course, it also provides access to the incredible Sky Garden, offering greenery, indoor observation decks and an open air terrace with a 360 degree view of London.
Rooftop Kitchen at Alfie’s Antique Market, Church Street
Nearest tube: Marylebone
Although the Rooftop Kitchen doesn’t open until 10am, this hidden gem will shake up your normal morning coffee ritual with a charming vintage twist. This café is located on the roof of Alfie’s Antique Market and based in a stunning art deco building on Lisson Grove, although you wouldn’t realise it was there at first glance. After taking a peek at the antiques on offer from leading dealers downstairs, head up the oak staircase to the top of the beautiful building for beautiful views and freshly brewed coffee. Expect quirky furniture and curiosities, and if you’re peckish, a diverse menu of British classics and unusual treats will certainly satisfy.
Burdock at the Montcalm Hotel, Finsbury Square
Nearest tube: Moorgate
The Montcalm Hotel houses many unusual cafes in London, offering a mixture of contemporary style and timeless views. One of these cafes is the Burdock, with a menu of takeaway breakfasts, smoothies and juices perfect for accompanying your morning coffee. Although the Burdock doesn’t have an open-air terrace (try its sister restraint, the Aviary for that!), it has huge, airy windows looking out onto the hustle and bustle of the world below, fantastic for people watching or simply gathering your thoughts before you go about your day.
There are many unusual cafes in London that serve up a morning brew with an incredible view, although they are often hidden away. Next time you are walking down the street with your chain coffee cup in hand, take a look up – perhaps you will discover a much more inspiring, picturesque destination for tomorrow’s cappuccino.