I should preface this by saying I love coffee so much that at bedtime I feel excited because soon it’ll be morning and I can have more coffee. I should also add that if I have less than two coffees a day I get a banging headache and if I have more than three I feel ill and mental.

Coffee is thus a luxury, an essential and a controlled substance all in one. As such, I really resent one of my daily caffeine units being wasted on an inferior coffee. I will drink it (because I need it, goddamn you) but I will not enjoy it.

In my locale I’m never more than ten minutes away from a good flat white but in the West End I’ve come unstuck several times and ended up in a dire Starbucks-situation. So here are my five favourite places to replenish my caffeine levels in town…


Fernandez & Wells, Lexington Street

Not only is the coffee in Fernandez & Wells amazing but they also do divine toasted sandwiches.

Their general thing is rustic – simple food made with beautiful ingredients, bare floorboards and salvage-yard lamps.

They have a few different locations now, including Somerset House and Denmark Street but the Lexington Street one is my favourite.


Flat White, Berwick Street Market

Why are Australians and New Zealanders so good at coffee?

Flat White is the original antipodean coffee shop in central London. The coffee is as excellent as they show off it is. And it’s conveniently located for when you’re struck down with Oxford Street-ennui on the Tottenham Court Road end of things.


Workshop Coffee Bar, Marylebone

The Workshop Coffee places are all good (they’ve also got spots in Clerkenwell, Fitzrovia and Holborn) but this Marylebone one is ideal for a coffee interlude when Selfridges is doing your head in.


FreeState Coffee, Southampton Row

Coffee enthusiasts, you are among friends here.

Also, prepare to be seduced by the mismatched schoolchairs and exquisite sea green cups and saucers.


Attendant, Foley Street

Formerly a Victorian public toilets, Attendant incorporates all the property’s original features (which in this case means urinals, cisterns and tiles) into the design of its interior (it’s much more pleasant than I’ve perhaps just made it sound). Plus they do an incredible espresso and milk.

I’d like to know what Geoffrey Fletcher thought about this curious reappropriation of space…

images images-1 The-Attendant-Marthafied-featr

(above) Attendant, Downstairs, 27a Foley Street W1W 6DY (0207 637 37 94)