Kaffeine – Fitzrovia

Reviewed on July 20th, 2014 by Dina

Glorious blue sky summer days means the pleasure of making the most of the great outdoors but also taking the chance for a relaxed lunch. Kaffeine is a very popular cafe with queues coming out the door at busy times. Wooden panels and crate like tables make up the small seating area with some high stools near to the counter. There is a bench outdoors too.

Kaffeine serves up one of the best smoothest coffees and one that I would return for. The Americano decaf was served in a matching black cup and saucer with soy milk. The food is displayed in the counter fridge and includes toasted foccacia sandwiches, baguettes, tarts and salads. As the food is seasonal, Kaffeine has a menu that changes each week.

KaffeineKaffeine Vegetarian TartKaffeine Chocolate and Hyssop FriandKaffeine InteriorKaffeine CoffeeKaffeine Interior 2

The vegetarian tart on offer on this particular visit was roasted vegetables in a Gruyere pastry with saffron cream. The pastry was thin, light and crispy. Parsnips, aubergine, red pepper, onion and courgette made up the chunky filling. It could have done with slightly less saffron cream. The tart was garnished with wood sorrel.

For something sweet, the chocolate and hyssop friand was chosen. The cake was almond based and was not too dense. The chocolate and almond made a wonderful combination with the hyssop icing. In Kaffeine’s own words, this is what hyssop is:

“Hyssop is a foraged plant that is quite resilient and best picked in early spring or early autumn when it’s in blossoms. The leaves and stems have a menthol aroma and taste of a combination of peppermint and lavender.”

Kaffeine

There are lots of other sweet treats on offer such as cookies, brownies, Portuguese tarts and muffins. It is a shame that the cakes are not covered and are just on display on the counter top. The staff gave service with a smile and were efficient.

Kaffeine is a great cafe with fresh tasting food and undeniably fantastic coffee! It makes for a lovely place for just coffee or for lunch.

Kaffeine, 66 Great Titchfield Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 7QJ

Rating: ★★★★½

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SkyLounge – Amsterdam

Reviewed on May 7th, 2014 by Dina

Arriving at a holiday destination after a flight, it works wonders to start with some time relaxing. This gives time to get some orientation on the city and also get ideas on where to start the explorations.

SkyLounge is situated on the 11th floor and offers beautiful panoramic views of Amsterdam. It is spacious and has floor to ceiling windows. High chairs and tables make up one area but if you are looking for something more comfortable, then there are also sofas and cushioned stools.

Quirky gold trees with clogs hanging from them are dotted around the room. Soft relaxing music plays in the background. A rooftop bar and outdoor terrace are also assets of SkyLounge.

SkyLoungeSkyLounge Tea and TreatsSkyLounge Clog TreesSkyLounge Truffle and NougatSkyLounge Vanilla ChaiSkyLounge Oat BiscuitsSkyLounge TerraceSkyLounge City ViewSkyLounge Interior

There is no better way to revive than with a cup of tea.  What a pleasant surprise when the tea was served with some sweet treats. A wooden tray showcased the sugary fancies together with a white teapot of The London Tea Company tea. The Vanilla Chai had the flavours of ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, peppermint, cloves and cardamom.

Round oaty, syrupy, crunchy biscuits, a chocolate hazelnut truffle and nougat were all delightful. The subtly spiced tea complemented the sweets.

Coming to SkyLounge with its great views, friendly staff and wonderful tea made for a good choice. The body and mind were well rested, refreshed and ready to explore the city.

SkyLounge, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station, Oosterdoksstraat 4, Amsterdam, 1011 DK, Netherlands

Rating: ★★★★★

Boulangerie Bon Matin – Stroud Green

Reviewed on February 15th, 2014 by Dina

Pancakes/crepes are always forgotten about when it comes to weekend treats! Boulangerie Bon Matin is lovely place for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even for tea and cake in the afternoon!

A delectable display of cakes, pastries and breads welcomes you into this cafe. Brick walls and framed artwork makes up the seating area towards the back of the cafe. This area is flooded with natural daylight which is always a bonus.

Boulangerie Bon Matin La Ratatouille CrepeBoulangerie Bon MatinBoulangerieBon Matin La Milan CrepeBoulangerie Bon Matin CakesBoulangerie Bon Matin InteriorBoulangerie Bon Matin Tea

The menu at Boulangerie Bon Matin boasts a range of breakfast items, salads, soup, sandwiches, quiches, pastries and also the already mentioned pancakes. The savoury crepe chosen to start with was La Ratatouille. Roasted aubergine, red onion, courgette, basil, garlic and cheese made up the filling of this wonderful crepe. The flavours of all the vegetables came through and it was not overladen with cheese.

La Ratatouille was supposed to come with fried egg but we asked for scrambled egg instead. The egg was softly scrambled and there was also a side salad to accompany the pancake.

Now onto the sweet crepe which was made of white flour. Dark Belgian chocolate with banana was the filling of La Milan. A small dish of nuts were given on the side as we thought that it would go well with the chocolate and banana.

The other option that we were considering was La Chocolat. The filling of this one was Belgian chocolate with nuts. As my friend pointed out, it was better that we got the crepe with the banana as the La Chocolat one would have been too rich.

To drink, a satisfying big cup of Earl Grey tea was had. The other teas on offer were English Breakfast, Assam and herbal. If you wanted something cold, there are a range of smoothies and juices as well.

The staff were really friendly and gave fantastic service. All the food that we were served was made fresh to order.

Boulangerie Bon Martin showed us that it is a relaxed, friendly and welcoming cafe. One that we would happily return to for crepes or for the other tempting delights on their menu!

Boulangerie Bon Matin, 178 Tollington Park, Stroud Green, London, N4 3AJ

Rating: ★★★★★

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