London - Monmouth Coffee
When researching where to eat and drink in London, Monmouth Coffee, was mentioned over and over again as the best coffee in the city. Best of all it's located right across the street from Borough Market, our first stop in London. Queues are often long, so it's not the cup for you if you're in a hurry. We waited around fifteen minutes on our first trip, maybe ten for the second. When you get close to the entrance, a waiter will come through to write down your order. So if you have in mind what you'd like to order, you'll get through the line a little speedier.
Our lattes were quite good, the milk richer and a bit funkier than what we're used to here in the states. Like it came from real cows. The foam was fantastic too, nicely smooth and silky. Great beans, Monmouth apparently roasts and source their own. In my research I kept reading about flat whites. What a flat white was I did not know, but it sounded interesting. Turns out it's basically a double shot latte with less milk and made with microfoam (idk?) for a velvety consistency. It was just as good as the latte, maybe better if you want to really taste the espresso.
To score a seat at the big communal table you just order some bread and jam with your coffee. Otherwise you can fight for a seat in the tiny elevated area around the edge of the shop. We took our lattes to go, straight into the market.
If you like something sweet with your coffee there are plenty of tempting treats from which to choose. A bowl of handmade chocolate truffles sits next to the register. Nearby, platters of thick brownies and golden shortbread beckon.
If you're lucky while you're waiting in line (and you will wait in line) a super nice barista might swing through with a little pot of drip coffee and matching tiny cups. Accept the offering, the drip coffee is excellent. I think you can order a particular blend for your own cup, each brewed individually. And don't be scared off by the hipster employees. Everyone we spoke with was almost unnaturally friendly. The dude in the 'no shave' shirt up top especially. Katy and I were both surprised when he started talking, his accent totally American, because he wasn't British at all.
Coffee in hand you should definitely make a loop through the market. Or, if you've already done that, head west to the Tate Modern (it's free) with excellent views across the Thames to Big Ben and the Eye along the way. And if you've already been there, go east for photo opps at Tower Bridge (I'll post some of those later, with some pie.)