If you wanted to have a cup of coffee in London 15 years ago you wouldn’t have had much choice, as no one has heard of Starbucks or Costa coffee back then. Today there is a cafe or coffee house on every street corner but most of them make horrible coffee. For example, I only dive into Starbucks around Christmas time, when they serve Eggnog latte that I am addicted too, but before my waist line starts expanding, it disappears from the menu and so do I from Starbucks premises for another year. Mostly I can only drink Carluccio’s dark brews without regretting the money spent. But as always there is hope, especially if you like exploring the town.
Today, while walking from Liberty department store I ended up on Newburgh Street and that’s where one such ‘coffee jewel’ is situated. It’s called Canela café and it’s quite small, so you could easily walk by, as it’s not a great beauty. Pause though, pop in and before your eyes you will have Portuguese and Brazilian cake specialities, a silver coffee machine, that looks like a robot straight out of Star Wars and friendly staff (if you are lucky you might even be winked at by the chef). I bought some pao de queijo (cheese bread) and chorizo bread (really good!), a carrot & orange cake that is awaiting its turn in my fridge and one of the best pudim de leite (that’s brazilian creme caramel) that I have ever tasted-trust me on this one, I tried quite a few! And my macchiato, served with a cinnamon stick and plenty of milk froth was so strong I ‘ran’ on it for three hours, I kid you not. And it tasted like great coffee should, bitter with a strong aftertaste in your mouth. They also serve sandwiches, salads, soups, and tasty sounding lunch dishes and at the time I was there it was full of people, ranging with a couple who was having lunch with their two daughters (and with whom my son decided to shamelessly flirt while I was waiting for my order) to a couple of girlfriends catching up, to two gentlemen and a young boy who all looked relaxed and in no rush to leave.
I will definitely go back there and I urge you to try it when you are in the area (there is another Canela cafe in Covent Garden)-you wouldn’t be disappointed .)