For any Melbournian departing for London the most frequently asked question isn’t if you’ll miss the weather or the fresh air or the Australian Open, its what will you do for coffee?? See, there’s a collective belief that London’s biggest failing is its inability to keep the population adequately caffeinated with something more refined than Starbucks. London is imagined as a city of pubs, not trendy street cafes. But for the coffee purist the options are definitely out there. The fun is in finding them.
Workshop Coffee Co is like stumbling into a slice of Melbourne in London. Originally tied to Australia’s St Ali, Workshop later found its own name and own two feet. Visit Workshop’s Clerkenwell presence: you could easily close your eyes and imagine you were in Australia, such is the number of Australian accents drifting through the room – not to mention the quality of the coffee.
Workshop Clerkenwell roasts their coffee in-house. In fact, the back of the Clerkenwell cafe space houses roasting equipment in a mock courtyard backed by a hanging garden feature wall. The staff here are friendly and the ambience has that on-trend mix of traditional and chicly modern.
Workshop’s inner city Marlybone space sticks to being all about the coffee, but Clerkenwell offers a rustic lunch menu that makes use of seasonal produce. The menu covers everything from small snacks like pastries, sandwiches and salads, to full sized mains – a range of options that’s handy in a cafe since two or more people aren’t always in consensus about their level of hunger.
I haven’t yet been to Workshop Clerkenwell for breakfast: but with menu options like brioche French toast with poached English rhubarb and blood orange mascarpone, or house-braised beans with salted ricotta, I think I’m going to have to.
Workshop Coffee Company, 27 Clerkenwell Rd, EC1M 5RN, www.workshopcoffee.com