This little Marylebone café is a spin-off from Monocle magazine, the showcase of design consultant and publisher Tyler Brûlé (the founder of Wallpaper*).
For such a high-profile backer and brand, the café is remarkably modest. It’s a pitstop where you can have espresso in the standard variations, such as latte or cappuccino. There is none of the gadgetry, choice of beans or roasts that you’ll find in the more dedicated, new-wave coffee bars. In this case, lack of choice was no loss: it was a richly flavoured Allpress blended roast.
Better than the perfectly decent coffee were the excellent pastries from Stockholm’s Fabrique bakery (which now has a branch in Haggerston). You won’t find better Swedish-style cinnamon rolls in London. The beautifully presented cakes are by Lanka, a London-based Japanese-run patisserie which successfully fuses French baking with Japanese flavours such as green tea.
In appearance the café looks like a cross between a sushi bar and a Swedish sauna with its artfully crafted wooden counter, classic mugs and tiny airline-style trays. Copies of Winkreative’s (Brûlé’s ad agency) portfolio are scattered around, the mugs are for sale and even the chocolates are monogrammed with the Monocle logo. The basement area is set aside for Monocle subscribers.
If you’re a Monocle fan you’ll love this well-styled product and the feeling of being in with the in-crowd. Even if you’re not a fan, the bought-in cakes and pastries are good – enough to make you not mind that you’re being used as a marketing opportunity.
|Venue name:||Monocle Café||Contact:|
18 Chiltern Street
|Opening hours:||Open 7am-7pm Mon-Fri; 9am-6pm Sat; 10am-6pm Sun|
|Price:||Main courses £5-£8|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
3.3 / 5
- 5 star:0
- 4 star:5
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:1
It's a nice atmosphere but very small. It's biggest issue is that it needs a process for people waiting for tables (a simple sign up list). The waitress at the counter suggested we 'fight' for a table (I thought this was a joke), while one of the waiters mentioned we could wait at a corner table and sit once a table came free. Some other random person cut in front of us when a table came free and with no waiting list, no one knew who arrived first. We gave up at this point.
It's rule 1001 of any decent cafe/restaurant, especially when there's no place to 'line' up either. Seriously.
I love popping in here to catch up on some mind stimulating reading and to grab a coffee at one of the outside tables. Yes my coffee order is usually wrong too but I've always found the staff more than helpful.
Worst cafe in London. Terrible service, unwelcome staff, and the rudest manager I have ever met in a cafe. Wouldn't even give them a 1 star!
Really nice clean feel - hope it does not go pretentious - would be really nice to have later opening times up to say 8 or 9 pm even - especially weekends after a good shop or stroll around town. Recommend this one for a good coffee, pastry and chat.