One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city is to sit down and sip a cup of coffee.
Not drink it, but sip it. Just sit there in a chair and look around and casually sip my drink.
As a traveler, it’s hard to have that luxury. If I’m only in a country or city for a few days, then time is precious. There’s always an agenda of what to do next. But when I get a chance, I’ll walk into a coffee shop, order my latte, and sit outside if there are seats available. It’s not the coffee itself that I love the most, but it’s the experience of drinking the coffee. Just sitting there and relaxing. And that experience is universal — in most countries around the world, you can sit outside and enjoy a cup of coffee and the experience that comes with it.
The best part of the coffee experience is the people. Especially the ones sitting around me. Usually they’re locals to the area, and we’ll start talking for one reason or another. I’ll learn a little about their lives, what to do around the city, the works. And like the familiar drunk at the bar, I’ll just sit there, enjoying my drink and chatting away. With coffee comes a little bit of insight into the lives of people living in the area. The coffee brings it all together. Some places in London will even draw a leaf or a heart inside your coffee just for fun — just an added benefit of the coffee experience.
Fortunately, London has tons of great coffee shops. Whether you like the big-named coffee shops like Starbucks or Costa or lesser-known places around the city, London has it all. My personal favorite? A place called Hotel Chocolat, with beautifully crafted chocolates upstairs and a sit-down cafe in the basement downstairs. So sit down, enjoy a drink, and immerse yourself in the coffee experience. I’m sure you’ll have no regrets.
*Hotel Chocolat has numerous locations in London, check here for details.
Article written by Nikki Somani.