It feels like an age since I blogged about London’s Best Coffee shops, and that’s probably because it is. Needless to say in my absenteeism I didn’t stop visiting the coffee houses of London or go caffeine-free, I simply was lacking the time and the photographs to blog about it (my camera memory was wiped).
So after a short hiatus I’m continuing my mission to try out new coffee shops and test the best of what London has to offer (mostly as stated in this list).
Next on the list is the Farringdon based coffee shop Prufrock that is listed in Time Out as one of the best coffee shops in Central London.
About five minutes from Farringdon Station, on Leather Lane, Prufrock stands in a back street, competing against a handful of other coffee shops with somewhat unusual opening hours as they appeared to be closed mid-Saturday afternoon.
The shop, painted in white, contrasts against the overwhelming grey of the street, and the blue logo hints at the colour scheme to come.
The shop is large, unnecessarily so for a quiet Saturday. But the street outside hosts a market on a Sunday, and is centrally based so one can only assume the shop is a hive of activity Monday to Friday too.
Chris and I did not struggle to find a seat, choosing one of the benches backing onto the wall that is quirkily decorated with spoons. I like this touch – although the spoons are relatively recent ranging from the early noughties, it gives me nostalgia of the old 70s spoons my Gran collected and stored in a jewellery box.
Call me unseasoned in coffee ordering, or perhaps still a little jetlagged but Prufrock’s seemed to lack a clear place to order – instead there were just a handful of baristas stood around one coffee machine, making or supervising the production of one drink.
They were friendly nevertheless and spoke to me over the machine for my order.
Prufrock doesn’t seem to serve lattes, which as you might be aware has been my benchmark-test-drink. Instead they serve “espressos with milk”. Aside from the literality this strikes me as borderline pretentious – but we went with it anyways and ordered two espressos with milk.
The baristas took their time, which I’m not opposed too. I’d rather a well-served drink than a rushed, over milky, burnt “espresso with milk”, but that did result in my drink being much cooler than Chris’. In fact, mine was just above room temperature, where Chris’ was deliciously warm. I don’t believe this is a mark of inconsistency but it did mean I had to drink my coffee with speed.
The milk seems to mask the smoothness of the espresso that you normally find in a latte. ~ Chris
The atmosphere in Prufrock was pretty sombre. I’ve already mentioned it was pretty quiet, a victim of its location on a Saturday afternoon. But the general chatter of those in there was minimal, with most people staring at their phones or on laptops.
I’m not opposed to this and I actually think it’s a sign of being comfortable by the punters that drink there. But it did lead to Chris and I having a quiet conversation as to not disturb the soft indie music playing throughout the shop and those people using this quiet time for productive things.
Unfortunately, the people to the side of me did not have the same consideration and instead chose to speak VERY loudly about politics and to quote, “that whatsit report”.
— So would I return to Prufrock’s? —
Probably not, but not because of the coffee.
Generally, there is no reason for me to visit Farringdon, and to do so is a reasonable commute. Prufrocks, although a great coffee shop, is not pull enough for me to visit Farringdon. However if you’re in the area I’d recommend popping by for a good coffee (but maybe ask for it a little hotter just to be sure).
— Prufrock’s Summary —
Things that count in their favour:
- Good coffee
- Plenty of seating
- Water on tap
- Good music
- Friendly staff
- Free wifi
- Barista lessons
Things that count against it:
- Limited outdoor seating (London though)
If you’ve visited Prufrock (either at their Farringdon location, or before they closed in Shoreditch) let me know! Or if you have a coffee shop recommendation please comment! Or why not stare at my photos of coffee here?