If you enjoy a coffee and cake in London, then look no further. Whether it’s quality coffee, cupcakes, board gaming, tall cakes, or unique cookies that you can drink from, we have you covered. This is HolidayPorch taking a well-earned break at London’s must-visit cafes.
Located on Elizabeth Street, Dominique Ansel Bakery is about a 10 minute walk from Victoria station and on the way to Sloane Square. It has a welcoming style, a great assortment of all things sugary and specifically its famous Cookie Shot. Ordering at the counter is often the definition of a first world problem with its numerous pastries, savory snacks and imaginative cakes.
The whole place has a relaxing atmosphere but we always try and grab a seat in their enclosed garden area, a conservatory around the back. The thing that grabbed our initial attention, however, is the always delicious and Instagrammable Cookie Shot. So, the Cookie Shot is a chocolate chip cookie served warm, cut into the shape of a cup, with cold vanilla milk poured inside. This is where design meets taste. Its hard chocolate coating on the inside keeps the liquid contained, but also provides a nice contrast of soft cookie on the outside. Coupled with the hot of the cookie and the cold vanilla milk. It’s both genius and tasty at the same time.
Whilst this may be the hook to bring you in, there is certainly enough variety and atmosphere at Dominique Ansel Bakery to welcome you back many times over, and to see how Chilly that Penguin really is.
Address: 17-21 Elizabeth St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9RP, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7324 7705
Whilst there are a number of board game cafes around London, the one that grabbed our attention was Draughts, in Haggerston, East London. With a library of over 600 board games and a staff that all know their stuff, there will always be something old or new to get yourself stuck in to.
The way it works is as follows:
They take bookings Monday to Friday with a £5 cover charge. This gives you a table and then as many board games as you can handle for as long as you like. On a weekend, it’s a first-come, first-served but time is limited to 4 hours. Arrive early to avoid disappointment during peak hours.
For us, we spent our 4 hours playing Hero Quest and Ticket to Ride.
Hero Quest was one of my favorites as a child. And, getting to play something I wouldn’t normally purchase makes Draughts the board game version of Netflix and it was great fun being the Dungeon Master once again.
Ticket to Ride, a more modern classic, just happens to be our favorite iOS game. The objective is to create multiple train routes across Europe and hopefully blocking your opponent in the process.
For food and drink, yes, they do coffee and cake which were good, but that’s not really the niche here. The staff creates a relaxing yet energetic buzz around the place and it does feel like a home away from home. Our 4 hours came up quickly but with a larger group on a weekday, I can see how you might spend all day here.
Address: 41 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, London E8 2JS, UK
Phone: +44 79309 36237
Next up on our list, located in Soho, is the Cutter and Squidge, a short walking distance from Piccadilly Circus. Soho is cafe central but we enjoy Cutter and Squidge because it ticks a lot of different boxes. They do lots and lots of sweet things, and coffee of course, but also they serve champagne, hot savory brunches, a full-on afternoon tea experience, and you can even choose your wedding cake here. Oh, and it’s been featured on Made in Chelsea a couple of times with Toff if that’s your thing.
We first enjoyed a grilled cheese and chicken croque and an avocado and goats cheese tartine along with a coffee and green tea. We moved on to dessert, where we tucked into what Cutter and Squidge call Biskies. Biskies are essentially a sweet sandwich and can be combinations of biscuit, cookie, cake, jams, caramels, and buttercream.
They place an emphasis on everything being fresh, being as sugarless as possible and with no artificial colorings. But whether it’s for a quick coffee and Biskie or a more elaborate afternoon tea or wedding cake even, you can be sure that your sweet tooth will be satisfied at Cutter and Squidge.
Address: 20 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 0SJ, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7734 2540
Remember Elizabeth street from Dominique Ansel Bakery? Making this road even more delicious is Peggy Porschen, located about 10 doors further down. Peggy Porschen is the celebrity on this list, being massive photography hit with bloggers and Instagrammers alike. With Vanity Fair saying they make “The Best Cupcakes in the World”, they even have their own Academy where you can obtain a Grand Diploma to prove your baking skills. So with all this, expect a bit of a wait to get a table inside. If the weather allows, then a table outside can be a really nice touch too. Cake and Cupcake is their thing and they do not let you down on either front.
We had the Salted Caramel Slice, which was layer upon layer upon layer of sweet, sweet goodness and the best cake I can remember having in a very long time. As it turns out, Vanity Fair may not have been exaggerating after all. Equally the coffee was of a very high standard and the whole vibe of the place is about as pink and warm and trendy as you can get. Due to its reputation, where possible I would say to try and visit during off-peak hours or when it is good weather. There are only a handful of tables inside with many more outside in the sun. Outside tables were available within 10 minutes but it was closer to 20 or 30 minutes for an inside table. But arguably the best cakes on this list, it certainly was worth the worth.
Address: 219 King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 5EJ, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7730 1316