We all need a drink and a little sit-down sometimes. Exploring London can be exhausting! And the design aficionados amongst us would always prefer to sit in a well-designed environment and soak it up while we sip our coffee.
Luckily, cafes with serious design credentials are not rare in London, but you need to know where to look. Here are two absolute gems:
The first is the V&A Reading Rooms, Exhibition Road, Kensington. It is a bookshop with a bar; what could be better?
Not just any bookshop with a bar either, but one where you can sit and browse the books at your leisure while enjoying a great range of drinks and snacks – they even do fresh mint tea. And with an eclectic selection of books from Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting to How to Become an Explorer of the World, you won’t be short of reading material either.
The second is technically a bike workshop with a café, but bear with me. Old Street’s Look Mum No Handsin EC1 was an overnight success with cycling enthusiasts and the local design community alike, when it launched last year. It’s a great idea (friendly bike workshop, food and drink, and a big screen to show the races) executed with style.
It’s in a gorgeous lofty space and is filled with mismatched furniture and the aroma of very good coffee and home-made baked goods – not to be missed. Cycling paraphernalia happily mingles with art and design from screen prints to beautiful ‘bike furniture,’ creating a haven for cyclists, coffee addicts and design geeks alike.
They even have their own range of merchandise including branded socks and this gorgeous bag. You know you’ve hit the big time in life when you’re selling branded socks!
V&A reading Rooms: www.vandareadingrooms.co.uk
Look Mum No Hands: www.lookmumnohands.com/
Katie Treggiden: www.confessionsofadesigngeek.com
To buy Katie’s new Book: http://confessionsofadesigngeek.com/buy-interviews-volume-1/
Follow Katie on Twitter: @coadg
Katie Treggiden has been writing her blog, “Confessions of a design geek”, since April 2010. Just six weeks after she started writing it, it was nominated for the mydeco Design Democracy Blog Awards and in September 2010 won Best Interior Design Blog in the UK. In September 2011, Katie published Interviews, a collection of eighteen conversations with designers. Katie’s new book “Interviews” was launched on September 17th to coincide with the London Design Festival. It features a collection of eighteen conversations with designers and is available to buy from http://confessionsofadesigngeek.com/buy-interviews-volume-1/ Her Blog can be found at: www.confessionsofadesigngeek.wordpress.com and you can follow Katie on twitter @coadg