So a lovely friend of mine sent me a message a few months back simply saying 'Review Please' with a link to The Monocle Cafe. So I looked it up, read all about it - and have taken far too long to actually get there, considering how close it is. So this week I promised myself I would go. And today was the day. I dropped off the biggest child at school, then headed on in to Marylebone, the youngest thankfully falling asleep en route, therefore allowing me a peaceful half hour at least being able to enjoy finally achieving this goal!
And so I arrived at the Monocle Cafe. Nestled in amongst a bridal store and antique showroom, this trendy little cafe was everything I expected. Petite, beautiful earthy design, and still buzzing enough for a mid morning on a Wednesday. I promptly inspected the cake cabinet and ordered a Lanka cheesecake and a Flat White, and took the paper under my arm to enjoy sitting outside on the pavement (something you rarely get to enjoy with a crawler and toddler around).
My plate arrived and I was instantly impressed. Something that I really feel London establishments fail to do is impress with service and presentation. So far, so good. Not only was I in trendy surrounds, but my order was presented with speed, and in style. A gorgeous tray encased my cheesecake (itself on an impressive plate), the perfect temperature flat white, a branded wet wipe and my requested glass of tap water which came as a carafe of minted liquid. How simple these few touches are - and yet so memorable, so impressive. The water presentation alone I would have given top marks for had I just been reviewing that!
So I sat and enjoyed the moments of child-free silence. Then I took a wander inside. This cafe is famous for cataloging all the suppliers used in the creation of the cafe - the floors, crockery, coffee - you name it. Hasami ceramics, the red oak counter lit by Ebolicht pendants, bar stools from Aussies One/Third, Lanka cakes, Fabrique Bakery pastries and Allpress coffee beans - just to name a few. The aesthetics of the cafe have been described as a cross between a 'Japanese Sushi Bar and Swedish Sauna House'. I've never been to the latter, but I can certainly feel the japanese air, particularly in the way the lunch menu items are presented in photographs, numbered, on the counter wall.
Up the back of the cafe lies a TV room all darkened with comfy sofas, and a downstairs hang out for the overflowing lunch crowds. I certainly did enjoy my morning tea here, and cannot wait to come back and try it again one lunch, in particular to taste test their grilled cheese sandwich.