In my filofax, I keep a long list of restaurants and cafes that I want to try across the world. On that list there is Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York, Miette in San Francisco, Delancey in Seattle and Bea’s of Bloomsbury in London. Until a couple Sundays ago there was also Lantana, a lovely little cafe on Charlotte Place in the middle of London.
To describe Lantana as just a restaurant or just a cafe would deny part of its unique charm. Lantana serves great food, but they also serve top notch coffee. From the outside it look more like an alternative restaurant as opposed to a cafe. Inside, however, the atmosphere speaks to being a cafe. A place to linger and talk with friends over a good cup of coffee. It’s light and airy while still managing to be intimate and comforting.
The seats are arranged along one side facing the till and lovely La Marzocco. Though the seating isn’t exactly communal, each table feels connected. There is a long bench with individual and double tables lined along it. While there isn’t much space, it seems that being crowded would only make the atmosphere more pleasant. They also have some seating outside if the weather’s nice. But, keep in mind, this is England.
I went after hopping off of an overnight flight, simply looking for a good cup of coffee and a filling breakfast. Preferrably something that hadn’t just been thirty seven thousand feet up in the air, something that was real food and quality coffee. You know, not the pre-packaged sandwich and muffin top that Virgin Atlantic suggested I consume for my first meal of the day.
Lucky me because I did get my excellent coffee and simple, filling real food.
I ordered a flat white and museli. Perhaps I made this decision to celebrate my return to the UK as they are two foods that seem to be practically non-existant in America. The flat white, technically isn’t even English, it’s Australian. If you’ve ever wished there was a drink between a cappuccino and a latte, meet the flat white. It’s lovely and Lantana’s version was espresso heaven, bright fruity coffee balanced against an ideal amount of smoothly steamed milk. I wanted it to last much longer than it did.
My muesli, which is technically Swiss, was also lovely. Crisp and crunchy, it was balanced out with a large dollop of yogurt and some rich, juicy prunes drizzled in honey. I felt revived, energized and refreshed after my meal, ready to attack the streets of London.
So, what’s the next cafe I can cross off my list?
What’s a restaurant/cafe/place you are dying to try out?