Snacks and nibblies only, listings for Waterloo

Konditor & Cook

I have seen people online calling this the adult version of the Willy Wonka chocolate factory.

While possibly a tad OTT on creative freedom, the moniker is not far off. This is heaven on Earth for the cake, pastry and coffee aficionado. Not only is coffee and edible accessories delivered to perfection, the framing of their excellent work is always pleasing to the eye and sometimes even giggle inducing. For example, I couldn’t help laughing when I saw their Ninja Slice cake. “A mind blowing experience”, as one (presumably!) happy customer put it.

Conveniently located just a coffee mug throw away from the excellent lunch pub The Kings Arms, this is a must visit after your meal. Get one of their marvellous double espressos and walk around the corner to the park behind the church opposite the IMAX and enjoy a few peaceful moments of pondering the better qualities of life. Such as sitting in a park in Waterloo with an excellent cup of coffee, pondering the better qualities of life.

Failing that, you could always think about the quote on the church wall:

All may have, if they dare try, a glorious life or grave.

That line is from a poem by George Herbert, one of this country’s greatest religious poets. Look it up, it is called “The Church Porch”. Print it, bring it to the park. Well worth a read and a ponder.

Only drawback of Konditor & Cook is that it draws more people in than cameras at a G20 rally. Persevere though, you deserve that relaxing moment in the park.

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The Pit Bar below The Old Vic

While you can’t really go here for lunch (they don’t open until 18:00 except Wednesdays when they open at 13:00), The Pit gets a special mention for being a really nice place to go for a pint, a glass of wine or a cocktail after work. Why not bring a date, the hidden away feeling of this basement establishment and the general theatre flair of the place gives it quite the romantic air.

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Scootercaffe

If you are looking for some of the best coffee in south London, nay, make that all of London, consider your quest over. This is it. You have stumbled upon a scooter workshop cum cafe extraordinaire by public demand. All thanks to their Italian 1957 Faema espresso machine and Craig O’Dwyer, the very well travelled owner and scooter connoisseur.
There is a story behind this place that is as fascinating as the cafe is cosy. Which means in the upper levels of “incredibly”. Craig O’Dwyer is originally from New Zealand. Many years ago he started travelling to and fro from Italy to London, collecting old Vespas and Lambrettas, pieces of furniture and coffee machines while at the same time becoming fluent in Italian. Combining all his passions together, he set up the coffee shop as we see it today on Lower Marsh.
You will still see several of his machines in the store, alongside memorabilia, press clippings and artifacts of days gone collected on his travels. Some would maybe call what they see as they step through the door rubbish, to me it is like stepping through a time portal. If you are looking for spare parts or scooter accessories, don’t come here though. In that case you are better off visiting their workshop Scooterworks on Enid Street, Bermondsey.
Unfortunately the place is closed on Sundays, or this would be a great hang out with a good book. Preferrably while it is raining heavily outside.
UPDATE: The kind people at Scootercaffe also emailed me this – “We do hire the basement for private functions where we have a second little bar with cocktails. There is live music every Tuesday and Wednesday night and yes, we are still closed Sundays where upon we sleep solidly for 12 hours.”
Foodwise they sell cakes, hot chocolate (ask to have it dusted with nutmeg, yum!) and delicious coffee from Columbia and Costa Rica, freshly ground for them just outside London by a company called Londinium.
They are licensed, so you can also get Irish coffees and hot toddies. If that is not your poison of choice, there is a good shelf of alcohol as well as French cider, Suffolk Ale and Mexican and Italian beer. Throughout the winter months they serve mulled wine and hot spiced apple all day and evening.
You are allowed to bring your own food, so why not bring a food pack and take a quick detour over lunch to Italy. Or why not go for lunch at the nearby thai restaurant and finish with a coffee here?
Suggested by Wendy, thank you very much!

If you are looking for some of the best coffee in south London, nay, make that all of London, consider your quest over. This is it. You have stumbled upon a scooter workshop cum cafe extraordinaire by public demand. All thanks to their Italian 1957 Faema espresso machine and Craig O’Dwyer, the very well travelled owner and scooter connoisseur.

Read the rest of this entry »

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