Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Vida e Caffe

After hearing how great this coffee shop was from a South African friend of mine I thought it time that I tried it.

Vida e Caffe, is a place where the warm customer service would make you want to come again and again. There are currently 40 stores in SA, but this is their first foray into London. Msizi, Sele, Sikilela, Thabo and Vuyani have all come over from SA to experience the sights and sounds of London life. They all live as well as work together. There are always two of them in the store, so make sure that you say hi and they will welcome you like an old friend.

Now let's talk coffee. I have to admit that it was too strong for me, I prefer more of a mild bean, however there is no bitterness, instead it is a smooth, creamy, exceptionally well made coffee. If like me you like a mild coffee than ask for a half shot. This is definitely somewhere that I would come again.

The vibe is alive and buzzing, although not somewhere to sit and wile the day away.

Coffee: ☻☻☻☻

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Baker and Spice - second time around

I finally got round to trying Baker and Spice in Maida Vale again yesterday. After the last experience with the coffee so burnt that I was unable to drink it I was determined to give this bakery one more try. Admittedly, it was not just the thought of a well made cappuccino that drew me there it was also their delightful biscuits and dreamy salads. Who knew salads could be so sexy? If you get a chance try the avocado salad.

I ordered a take away coffee, wanting a quick, dirty caffeine fix and not the luxury of a coffee shop experience. The coffee was surprisingly good. The milk smooth and creamy and no burnt flavour. The bean smooth and mild had a little bit of an after taste, but nothing too disastrous. I decided to go back later in the afternoon and try the full coffee shop experience. Lumbered with my laptop and the need to write I ordered a cappuccino. This one was as good as the first, possibly better. For the sake of the review I thought I better order another. This one was not as good, but still very drinkable.

This is somewhere that I will definitely go again, you may see me there on a weekend with my laptop and a cappuccino. If do, don't forget to say hello.

My advice, this place is worth sticking with. If you get a bad coffee, take it back and ask them to make another because they certainly know how to make an exceptionally good coffee.

The place: Baker and Spice, 20 Clifton Road, Maida Vale.
There are two other stores, one in Chelsea and another in Belgravia. It looks like their coffee is also available in Selfridges foodhall.

Coffee: ✯✯✯✯ (dependant on the barista)
Vibe: funky and filled with delicious cakes, salads and desserts. A great place to meet friends for lunch. If you want a quieter coffee, go later in the day or early in the morning.