cafe-londonLondon is awash with Cafe’s serving everyone from city folk to bohemian intellectuals. I love their rise in popularity, fighting the likes of Costa and Starbucks by offering homemade cakes, proprietary blends of coffee and unique non predictable interiors.

They have the freedom to inject personality into the design, albeit sometimes restricted by tight budgets. One such establishment that seemingly had no such financial shackles with it’s £220m refurbishment was The Savoy where indulging in a afternoon tea is suggested. Expensive maybe but surely worth a once in a lifetime treat? On the other end of the scale are places such as popular lunch spot “The London Particular” or “Ivys Mess Hall” offering sumptuous menus at affordable prices. Which is what a cafe should be about.

It is this vast ranging mix that no doubt prompted Zena Alkayat to edit this square and (almost) pocket sized book. Inside it is divided up into 7 useful sections :-

Cakes and Bakes
Afternoon Tea
Culture, Shop, Tea Break
Unusual & Alfresco

With cafe’s being fast and affordable they have very much become a viable alternative to expensive formal dining in the city and are often overlooked by tourists. They serve communities and are becoming a social hub of sorts. One only has to frequent a favourite establishment a few times to build a rapport after all. If for some reason you don’t then I suggest move on to another as being welcomed by the owner as a returning guests is a wonderful thing and buys loyalty.

I love this handy guide. It leaves you feeling excited at the prospect of exploration and discovering a multitude of new cafes to dine at. It whets the appetite which is what a food book should do by short, descriptive text detailing what is on offer and the vibe. In short this is the book that those who love cafe’s have been waiting for. I look forward to visiting as many as I can but the Savoy may have to wait for a very special occasion.

What is your favourite cafe in London? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.