I don’t think the primary export that comes to mind when thinking of New Zealand in London is cafés, coffee and baristas. But that is what you’ll find when entering one of a new breed of independent cafés populating London these days.
Café culture has been strong in NZ for a long time. We like nothing better than relaxing alone and watching the world go by, or chatting with friends with a flat white or long black in hand. These are served with a healthy dose of love, maybe a bit of quirk, and, dependent on the time of day, eggs on toast, a savoury muffin (we do love a good savoury muffin) or a sweet treat.
Many cafés roast their own beans with strong rivalries between your local favourites. For me, it was always Café L’affare, but that’s an aside. In London, I’m lucky enough to be near Nude Espresso on Hanbury (who roast nearby in the Truman Brewery, I think) run by a guy I recognise on sight from Wellington but can’t quite place. If we spoke long enough we’d sort it out, as is often the way with Kiwis abroad.
NZ barista’s can also be found in many of the best cafés and coffee houses in London. Our twang could serve you in Monmouth; the excellent (but Aussie) Milk Bar, Flat White, and Lantana; or the “Sacred Café line” – six locations including Stanford’s bookshop and Carnaby Street.
I’d love to know more NZ links in London’s coffeehouses: hook me up!