Top 5 Independent Coffee Shops in the UK

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in Travel Tips |

Breaking away from the corporate cup to embrace expressive espressos

For many people, coffee is a fundamental part of the day. Whether it is the morning cup that gets us up and going, or the mid-day coffee break to help us relax, there is just something about a great cup of coffee that cannot be compensated by any other drink. In the UK there are many independent shops that go above and beyond the common coffee cup. Breaking away from the corporate trends, these independent coffee shops offer an elegance and uniqueness worth recognition. It is not that a corporate coffee shop does not offer a good product, but there is something lacking in the experience. Independent Coffee Shops offer a level of personality and dedication that merges a craft into an artistry. Here are five such shops.

Workshop Coffee Company – 75 Wigmore Street, W1U

Workshop coffee company stands as a unique and independent coffee shop worth recognition because their coffees are non-traditional. Each of their main selections has a fruit element added to give the cup a unique flavour. For example: their cult of Done Espresso has a marmalade and plum flavour, the Los Altares has a sweetness of fig, and the Nano Challa has the sweetness of white grape.

Founded in 2011, the company takes yearly trips to Africa where there coffee is primarily harvested. Workshop Coffee Company is located in Marylebone, Holborn, and Clerkenwell.

Notes Music Coffee – 31 St. Martins Lane & 36 Wellington Street

Notes coffee is an all-day coffee shop that goes beyond what a typical shop entails. Opening at 7am, the coffee shop offers the Early Brid coffee selections. Later in the evening, Notes Music Coffee transforms into a coffee shop and wine tasting facility. Each location also has an onsite chef to present dishes that accent the coffee experience.

Adding to the unique versatility of the company, Notes Music Coffee offers live jazz sessions. Notes Music coffee plans to open 3 new stores this year and 5 next year.

Monmouth – 27 Monmouth Street, WC2

Monmouth coffee was established in 1978 and has been serving coffee ever since. One of the key factors which make this coffee shop so great is that their coffee is delivered daily from their roasting site in Bermondsey. Milk is delivered from Jeff Bowles in Somerset. Customers of Monmouth do not get coffee from shelved products but from a local roasting site. Everything offered in the shop is fresh.

Coffee from Monmouth covers beans from Africa, Central America, South America, Asia, and the Pacific. The beans are roasted daily on the premises and customers are encouraged to try a sample of the coffee before buying a cup.

Doppio coffee – 177 Kentish Town Rd. London NW1 8PD

Coffee wholesale Doppio coffee warehouse merges the coffee shop with a coffee supply store. This is extremely beneficial for those who want to have their own expresso machines, and high quality equipment, but at the same time need training in the use of such equipment. Where a supply store would offer the product and a coffee shop would offer the results from the product (for example an expresso can be purchased at a coffee shop, but rarely can you say “that made a good cup of expression, I will take the machine”), Doppio offer both training and tasting within the same facility.

Should you have an independent coffee shop and want to invest in the top of the line equipment, Doppio offers sales, rentals, services, maintenance, coffee barista training, and guidance on all the equipment they sell.

Doppio offers six main categories of coffee in a variety of sizes. You can also taste these coffees at the Doppio Coffee Warehouse location.

Nude Espresso – 26 Hanbury Street London E1 6QR

Nude espresso is an independent coffee company that is focused on the artistry of the coffee experience. From the wholesale to the tasting floor, all tasks are done by hand. This includes the bagging of the coffee and the roasting of the coffee. Their goal is to keep the best quality by ensuring that everything is done above standard.

Nude espresso offers wholesale beans and training. Their coffee is roasted and delivered on a weekly basis. Training is conducted at the Roastery by Hugo Macdonald. The company believes that all coffee vendors should be well established in understanding quality, freshness, and about the products they serve.

Whether you are in the upper or lower part of the UK, you can find an independent coffee shop. Going outside of the corporately owned mass marketed coffee is sure to give you a unique experience and perhaps establish a new more personal coffee drinking routine. The independent coffee shops throughout the UK have a common factor of quality, freshness, and a personal touch. Find a shop near you. I am sure that your taste buds will thank you.

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Make the Most of Your Quiet Time in London

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Tips |

If you make a short trip to London then you will expect some hectic moments. Cramming into a Tube train, going shopping on Oxford Street and queuing to get into a theatre show are some of the times when you are likely to be surrounded by plenty of other people.

However, there are sure to be some times when things are a bit quieter. So why not take advantage of these moments as well?

Take a Good Book Away

A terrific idea is to take away a book about London with you when you travel here. This could be a travel guide, a history of the city or even just a novel that is set there. You can read this when you are waiting to travel in the airport or train station, when you are travelling on the Tube or in your room at night. A book can also help you to feel comfortable about eating out alone. This city has been the scene of some of some fascinating events over the centuries, so there are plenty of historical books to choose from. Getting the right one could even mean that you end up going out and discovering a place you read about, which is a fantastic way to explore any city.

Discover the Parks

While it is famous for big, busy streets and lots of crowds, London also has some massive and very attractive parks. Hyde Park and Regent’s Park are among the best green spaces to explore. Your options here range from roller skating, taking a picnic or just sitting down with a book or newspaper. Best of all, these parks are centrally located, so getting to them is easy. There are also many other parks and green spaces around the city for you to explore. If you like to take a break from the busy touristy places then you will find that it is easy to unwind in one of these parks for an hour or two. They can also be interesting places to explore, as you might see wildlife or some locals out enjoying the fresh air.

Play Some Games

A modern trend that is great for travellers is that of playing games on mobile phones or tablets. If you are planning on taking away your mobile device to London then it could be a big help in passing those quiet hours more pleasantly. Of course, many of us use these gadgets to look at our photos or to use social media sites while away from home. However, playing games can be even more fun. A good example of how this can be done comes with the interesting new online bingo sites such as Bingo Extra. If you are in your hotel room late at night then playing games on these sites can be a lot more exciting than switching on the television. If you choose to stay in a hotel with free Wi-Fi then it will also be completely free to do this. Just remember to take away your charger with you.

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5 of London’s Most Exclusive Gentlemen’s Clubs

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Tips, Travel Tips |

London is home to the private Gentlemen’s club; some of the most revered institutions on the planet. You have to be a member to gain entry in the modern day, while it was also very much the same during the 18th century when the British upper class first introduced them. Compared to the earlier years, there has been a modernisation in the way in which Gentlemen’s clubs are run.

However, the vast majority are still exclusively made for men. You will find it extremely hard to gain entry to such venues, although there’s certainly plenty for you to learn about these highly fascinating institutions. Here are five private Gentlemen’s clubs in London that are of notable interest and particularly stand out.

The Athenaeum

The Athenaeum is a stunning aesthetic building designed by Decimus Burton. The building’s exterior is based on the Parthenon in Athens and features numerous emblems and imagery accompanying a truly spectacular columned entrance. Athena, the goddess of wisdom, is watching down on those who enter with the statue of the goddess situated atop the first floor balcony.

The club has an extensive library filled with tomes, as well as a newly renovated smoking room that is entirely smoke-free. Some notable former members of this delightful gentleman’s club include Herbert Spencer, who possessed philosophies that inspired Social Darwinism.

The In & Out, Naval and Military Club

This was first established as the idyllic resting place for serving officers and those of the armed forces. This is one of many Gentleman’s clubs that have modernised and begun admitting women and those not part of the armed forces. There are two entrances to the club, one of which ensures a strict dress code is adhered to and the other providing a less formal entrance.

From either entrance you can gain access to some of the clubs most luxurious facilities, from a gym and swimming pool to the Goat Bar and a fully equipped business centre. There are 52 en-suite bedrooms to make the most of with the club offering unrivalled and extensive accommodation options. In order to gain membership to this Gentleman’s club you must be proposed or seconded by a member.

The East India Club

Commissioned Officers of the Army and Navy as well as those who were members of the East India Company founded the East India Club and merged with sports and public school clubs. Established in the 19th century, young public school boys were given the opportunity to experience the gentlemen’s club for the very first time.

This club is particularly well known for having members of various ages, including retired seniors and young businessmen. The East India Club has not yet modernised to the point where they admit women, although there have been attempts made by current members to modernise. Numerous facilities are available to utilise in this gentleman’s club, such as a gym, a business room and club sports teams’ facilities.

Boodles

Lord Shelbourne, once Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, founded the Boodles Gentleman’s club in 1762 before he was in office. Boodle’s is certainly one of the most well-known and prestigious Gentleman’s clubs in the UK. It celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2012 and takes its name from the former head waiter, Edward Boodle.

The club is aligned as being in partnership with the Conservative Party and gaining membership to the club is no easy task. The admittance process is determined by a nomination system carried out by current members. The club has its own traditional dish, the Orange Fool, which is often enjoyed by members.

White’s

This is probably the most exclusive Gentleman’s club around, with Prime Minister David Cameron once being a member. It was first established in 1693 and is strictly members only. The building itself is arguably the most splendid feature; a grand Portland stone Grade I listed property situated in the heart of St. James’ Street.

You might be wondering why David Cameron is a “former” member of the club. The PM decided enough was enough when the club’s members refused to overrule their men-only policy, resulting in a famous, well-documented snub. However, David Cameron’s father was once the chairman of White’s, meaning he is currently the only member to voluntarily leave.

Many Royals are current members of White’s, including heir to the throne Prince Charles. White’s features a games room, a beautiful drinks bar and plenty of British game on the menu.

Article submitted by www.bestvenues.london, a one-stop shop for sourcing unique venues in London in the corporate, party and major event industry.

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How to Travel Around London Safely

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Tips |

Photo by [Duncan]

London is definitely one of the safer cities to explore and you are far less likely to experience problems there than you would if you were visiting, say, Rio de Janeiro or Lagos. However, although London is relatively safe, it is still sensible to take a few precautions when travelling around the city, particularly at night. So if you are planning a trip to London, here are a few simple tips to ensure you see the sights and have fun – safely.

 

Walking Around the City

London is perfectly safe on foot and often it’s easier to get around on foot during rush hour. If you do choose to walk, carry a map and check your route before you set off. Always look before you attempt to cross over busy roads – cyclists can appear out of nowhere, especially at dusk. Appear confident at all times and don’t take short cuts down dark alleyways at night.

 

Beware Petty Thieves

London, like any other big city, has its fair share of shady people. Pickpockets are common in crowded tourist areas such as Covent Garden or Tower Bridge. Often the pickpocket works with accomplices, who distract you, perhaps by asking for directions, while the thief stealthily rifles through a bag or lift a wallet from your back pocket. By the time you realise what’s happening, they have melted into the crowd and your valuables are long gone.

Always carry anything of value in a zipped, secure pocket or bag when you are on foot. Don’t carry valuable items in an open handbag where criminals can spot them and target you as a result. It is also unwise to blatantly hold expensive mobile phones or tablets in full view since these will also make you a potential target.

 

Black Cabs in London

Black cabs are the only licensed taxis allowed to collect fares off the street. Mini cabs have to pick you up from a specified address. Never jump in an unlicensed taxi, even if you are desperate for a ride back to your accommodation. If in doubt about a minicab, ask the driver to confirm they know who you are and where you’re going before you jump in. Keep your mobile phone fully charged so you can call for assistance if necessary; download a phone charging app if you aren’t sure where the nearest charging points might be.

 

Stay Safe on Public Transport

Keep your wits about you when using the underground – especially late at night when it’s relatively quiet. The underground is mostly very safe, but keep hold of your bag at all times and don’t place wallets and other valuables in pockets where thieves can access them while you are crammed together on a crowded tube train at rush hour.

Wait for public transport in well-lit places. You should also sit near the driver when travelling alone on buses at night, and if you feel uncomfortable at any point, perhaps because another passenger is hassling you, ask for help or move to another seat.

London is a fantastic city to visit, with hundreds of great attractions, so have fun, stay safe, and you’ll be able to visit again soon.

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Shinebright this Christmas with glacéau vitaminwater

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Tips |

13th December ­ 17th December
15 Bateman Street, Soho, W1D 3AQ

 

Following on from the summer¹s successful Shinebright studio, created to nurture and promote young creative talent, glacéau vitaminwater¹s exciting new project, the Œwrapping gallery¹ opens its doors to celebrate the work of local artists whilst offering consumers the chance to make sure their special gifts Shinebright this Christmas.

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 14.55.00

 

The festive period could always be a little bit brighter and more original ­ so this Christmas, glacéau vitaminwater is doing away with the dull, uninspiring wrapping paper we are all so used to, and offering the public a one-stop pop-up shop for hand-made, completely unique wrapping paper that shines with creativity.

 

Lynnie Zulu, Wild Things

 

With infamous London-based painter and street artist Inkie* at the helm, the wrapping gallery will house 10 emerging artists including Jack Hudson, Lynnie Zulu, Lucy Vigrass and the Day Job collective. Over the course of 5 days, launching on Saturday 13th December the team of artists will be designing, screenprinting, illustrating, block printing, stamping and stenciling rolls upon rolls of gigantic wrapping paper with their own designs and interpretations of what it means to shine bright.

 

Lucy Vigrass, Raw Fruit

 

The space will be a destination for busy shoppers to seek calm and inspiration. A place to have their carefully selected gifts wrapped by professionals in one-off sheets of paper created on-site before their eyes by an array of talented young artists.
Take a step away from the madness of the festive shopping season and treat your special gift to special wrapping paper to make sure that it shines bright beneath the Christmas tree.

 

Jack Hudson, Hangtime

 

Inkie will be get the festive ball rolling from 11am on Saturday, 13th December ­ a great opportunity to come down and get a one-off piece of functional art from an artist that usually exhibits his work on the walls of contemporary art galleries. There will also be the opportunity to win framed and signed works from each artist during the 5 days. To enter just post a photo of your gift and wrapping paper with #Shinebright. Each artist will then choose his or her favourite snap as the winner and Vitaminwater will make sure the framed art is in your hands before Santa starts his rounds.

 

Day Job, Untitled

 

13th December ­ 17th December
11am- 7pm
Wrapping gallery- 15 Bateman Street, Soho, W1D 3AQ
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