High caffeine, low rent
March 14, 2009 11:08 AM Subscribe
Where in London can I buy a filter coffee and read undisturbed for hours? Should be quiet, needn't be 'nice', Bow or London Bridge locations a bonus but all considered.
posted by Acheman to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
When I lived in Cambridge, I used to go to the food court at The Grafton Centre, a slightly grotty shopping mall, to buy a cheap and nasty filter coffee from a takeaway pizza place which had used to be a Sbarro. The owners had painted over the Sbarro signage but retained many of the trimmings, presumably because it seemed like a waste of money to buy new ones. It wasn't heavily used - they had many, many more chairs than patrons - or heavily serviced, so I didn't feel bad about stretching my drink out while I read books on Lacan and Critical Theory, pencil in hand, headphones in. Sometimes when I got hungry I'd have a slice of pizza for about £1.50. I went there about three times a week after work, and always had the same thing, but they never acknowledged me as a regular or guessed my order before I gave it to them. It was heaven. I only stopped going when their coffee jug broke and they made it clear they had no immediate plans to replace it.
Now I'm living in London and haven't found anywhere comparable. I'd like to go somewhere where I can buy a cheap filter coffee - none of this latte bullshit - and make it last for hours without being made to feel bad. Somewhere with a lot of space and no atmosphere, where I can be invisible. Preferably somewhere within easy reach of home - Bow - or work - London Bridge - but I'd travel further afield if necessary. I travel to and from work via Canary Wharf, but all the coffee establishments there seem pricey, only serve latte bullshit, and have the kind of table service where they glare at you after half an hour. I'd prefer somewhere where you could die in your seat at 10 AM, have teenagers use you for chip target practice all day, and only be discovered late in the evening by a lady with a mop and a tragic backstory. That serves cheap filter coffee. Do I make myself plain?