I’m easily pleased. Put a cup of steaming coffee in front of me and I’m perfectly happy, but add a sweet treat and I’m yours. Few things in life compare to sitting in a glorious cafe and sipping on a frothy brew, but when you spend as much time working in coffee shops and cafes as I do your demands become a little more than the mainstream. I adore a Starbucks as much as the next girl, but thanks to the increasing popularity of Instagrammable coffee shops and blogger friendly hotspots we’re becoming really rather spoiled.
It may have started with Peggy Porschen and their floral exterior that causes actual queues for the photo op (don’t bother with the cake though, it’s naff!) but it’s now expanded out to all corners of the capital as new business compete for the social media impact their decor can generate.
Over the last year or two I’ve been to pretty much all of the hotspots and Instagram-worthy cafes to check out what’s worth the trek and what’s worth missing out on, and here is my comprehensive list of the best Instagram-worthy coffee spots and cafes in London – if you’re ever in need of a caffeine hit and photo opportunity simultaneously.
SPECTRUM COLLECTIONS (43 Carnaby Street, W1F 7EA)
The newest and quietest coffee hotspot is 100% vegan and located above the new Spectrum Collections store in the heart of Carnaby. After you’ve treated yourself to a new brush or two, pop upstairs for a latte and cupcake in this beautifully green and pink hideaway. Not only will your coffee be adorned with a different design depending upon what’s new (I hit the store just as their new Minnie Mouse collection launched,) but the cupcakes change too – so no two trips will ever be the same. Right now there’s not a huge amount on offer, but this is certainly one to watch; bonus points for being so quiet you can actually get a shot without having to wait for everyone to get out of the way!
FEYA CAFE (23 James St, W1U 1DT)
Possibly my current favourite place, this small independantly owned cafe makes even the most basic of orders look insane; choose from a pink, green or blue coffee, pancakes decorated with flowers, cronuts with too many toppings to count and the most incredible layered fruit pots I’ve ever seen. Everything about this place is Instagrammable and blogger friendly, but the food is top notch and affordable too. A stone’s through from Selfridges, it’s a great place to rest up after an intense shopping trip.
ELAN CAFE (239 Brompton Road, SW3 2EP)
Expanding beyond their original Knightsbridge location into Park Lane and Selfridges, this chain have absolutely nailed the art of creating Instagrammable decor. Enjoy a pink coffee while sitting next to a flower wall, or an intricate desert while taking in the floral ceiling – Elan actively encourages you to snap away and share their beautiful surroundings, so you don’t need to feel awkward when getting that snap either.
SAINT AYMES (59 Connaught St, W2 2BB)
Designed to showcase ‘edible art’ and now officially named the most Instagrammable cafe in London, this is a favourite location of many an uber-blogger thanks to their exterior wisteria. Their unicorn latte has become somewhat iconic, while other sweet treats are laced with 24ct gold for that ultimate level of luxury; this is so much more than just another coffee shop, reserved for those who want the ultimate experience. It’s a bit out of the way, but the decor and coffee is totally worth it. Don’t be surprised if you count almost as many Chanel bags as people either…
COVENT GARDEN GRIND (42 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7LJ)
A much more understated spot, this is one of their most central locations and not necessarily the prettiest – but it’s definitely great for a quick coffee. Upstairs is super cute and the coffee is great thanks to the neon signs (although don’t bother with the overpriced food and try to overlook the service,) but what’s fab is that you can get your little pink cup to go so you can snap yourself with the background of the Covent Garden Piazza. So much cooler than Starbucks and much more blogger friendly than your usual Instagrammable coffee shop.
DOMINIQUE AMSTELL (17-21 Elizabeth Street, SW1W 9RP)
I stumbled across this beautiful and delicious bakery while intending to visit Peggy Porschen’s, and it’s without a doubt ten times better. Peggy’s is super small and the cake is not that nice, but Dominique’s is massive and offers the most creative and delicious treats all year round; you may have spotted their watermelon serves over the summer, but their Autumnal and Christmas collections are just the best – almost too good to eat. You don’t have to worry about queues of being able to nab a seat, plus the door is always adorned with a picturesque floral display; well worth a tube ride out of central London.
DALLOWAY TERRACE (16-22 Great Russell St, WC1B 3NN)
One of the OG destinations, this is such a cute spot for brunch, lunch or afternoon tea – or even just a coffee if there’s space. It’s quite small so ideally you need to book or be prepared to wait, but the changing seasonable displays make it oh so worth it; if you can get a booking in the weeks leading up to Christmas you won’t be disappointed. You’re almost transported away to the countryside, even though you’re still in the heart of London, and when you’re done with coffee you can pop downstairs for a cocktail or two!
AUBAINE SELFRIDGES (400 Oxford St, W1A 1AB)
You may have seen this pop up within many of your favourite bloggers pictures already without realising, as the tucked away wisteria display makes it a beautiful treat for the eyes and the tastebuds. Located on the second floor of the iconic department store, this is reasonably quiet outside of lunchtime and offers some great coffee and selection of cakes alongside a relaxing atmosphere. Admire the mirrored walls and ceiling of flowers, while feeling a touch smug that your friends didn’t even know it existed; one of those that isn’t as hyped but is totally worthy of it.
Have you visited any of these Instagrammable coffee shops or blogger friendly locations?
Are there any other coffee hospots I should check out in London?