I've been in London for approximately five weeks now. The fact that I don't have access to the communal kitchen (that my rental promised) has contributed to my discovering great breakfast and cafe's in West Kensington.
Here's what I've enjoyed in my neighbourhood so far...
This is the first coffee shop I ever visited in London. The verdict? Perfection! This family owned, Italian Delicatessen opens early and closes around 6pm.
The owners have made friends with the entire neighbourhood which (in my experience) is typical of Italian people. This sort of hospitality is something I really appreciate especially since I arrived in the United Kingdom knowing virtually no one.
I started off with a latte and a custard filled croissant. The pastry was buttery, the custard was delicious and the latte was a perfect combination of hot, smooth and strong. The prices are very reasonable.
The baristas are cuties too. Coffee served by gorgeous Europeans never hurt my feelings! There are also sandwiches for takeaway and cured meats, drinks and specialty Italian products.
Today I passed the shop to see their patio packed with people despite the absolute downpour of rain. If that's not an indication of delicious food... I don't know what is.
They make amazing artisan pastas too but I'm saving that for another blog post*
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The space is made up of faux brick walls, wooden wide plank floors and rustic furnishings that compliment their healthy, homemade menu.
Natural light floods into their front window even when its raining and they've hung vintage Edison bulb lights to create a warm, retro feeling to match their retro playlist.
The coffee is good, the chorizo ( a type of pork I tried in Canada and didn't like) is phenomenal.
If you're in the mood for something healthy but just as filling their granola and yogurt is delicious especially if you drizzle a bit of honey over it.
There's a communal harvest table if you're ok sitting next to a stranger when its busy or tables (if you and your new boyfriend are recovering from too many pints at the pub last night).
Brioche is slightly more expensive than some other haunts in the area but I feel as though the produce and ingredients are the cause of that.
If you want to people watch or be amazed by the traffic, there's a bar like table that allows you to from the front window.
There's also complimentary wifi which if you're a foreigner be aware is not always available in Europe the way it is in North America.
This gorgeous cafe is on a side street directly off West Kensington.
It has a front patio, a garden patio and air conditioning (a rare thing in small London shops).
The entire shop smells delicious and it's quite spacious.
Many shops are packed like sardines but this space is very comfortable and private if you're looking for somewhere to relax.
They bake their pastries in an oven that is built into the wall directly behind the cash register and the prices are reasonable. In London, sticker shock is a very real, every day occurrence (everything is expensive) so a reasonable bill is more than appreciated but I come here for their friendly staff, delicious spinach pastries, lattes and sandwiches.
I had my first full english here. Sounds cheeky doesn't it?
This is a great spot for meetings or to get some work done, inside or on their patio.
I've spent a good hour people watching from this pretty spot. Whenever I have breakfast here I find that I'm full until dinner. Continente is open seven days a week from 8am until 4pm.
If you're looking for something lighter, love their homemade soups and their green smoothie, its texture is similar to green juice without being quite as watered down and it didn't send me straight to the washroom afterwards.
They have such nice staff, affordable prices and they make a fabulous cup of tea. You've probably heard rumours about the tea in the UK being superioir to others. They're true.
This is a great spot to visit before you hop on the tube to go see the sights in central London.
This tiny, family and pet friendly restaurant that feels like something out of a movie.
It's bright, clean and cosy. It's also packed nearly every day of the week.
I would come here every day if I could afford it. The smoothies are thick and packed with ingredients that could easily be considered a meal on their own.
There's decedent options like ice cream pancakes or homemade banana bread.
There's also super fresh and healthy options like lentils, avocado toast, smoked salmon and salads.
Popin' Nights are when you can get a Birra Moretti, an Italian beer (that I highly recommend trying if you like lager) or one of their signature cocktails.
Now it's time for dinner! Be sure to follow to see my next blog post on where to eat, drink and shop in London.