Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Notes


Restaurants, Cafés Covent Garden
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(12user reviews)
Notes, Covent Garden

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A popular and attractive spot for coffee, lunch and snacks close to Trafalgar Square and the Coliseum

Notes has been on this site since 2011, and has opened branches elsewhere in London and in Leeds. In 2013 it also took the major step of doing its own roasting in King’s Cross. The result, as judged by a single-farm Yirgacheffe brewed using the slow-drip V60 pour-over filter, is a major success. The room is singularly attractive, big and light with well-spaced seating at both small and refectory-type tables. It was very busy in mid-afternoon on a weekday, with a clientele ranging from suits in meetings to friends hanging out. Food is simple but takes pride in buying the best raw materials, such as charcuterie from the Ham and Cheese Company in Bermondsey. With Trafalgar Square just minutes away and the Coliseum even closer, Notes is an extremely useful place to take note of.

By: Richard Ehrlich



Address: 31 St Martin’s Lane
Transport: Tube: Trafalgar Square
Opening hours: 7.30am-9pm Mon-Wed; 7.30am-10pm Thurs-Fri; 9am-10pm Sat; 10am-6pm Sun.
Do you own this business?

Users say (12)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Had a lovely pre-theatre session in Notes, where we were more about wine-and-tapas than coffee-and-cake! Really lovely place with a nice chilled vibe after the sun goes down, which is unusual for the area. 

Good wine selection, tasty food and lovely spacious venue. 


Notes is a nice enough cafe - it's a good place to hide from the rain during the January sales, the coffee is decent enough, and the staff are pleasant. However, it's in Covent Garden, where there is a lot of competition for your cappuccino, so 'nice' isn't really good enough. The prices are a high for what you get, and it's usually very busy.

In the end, it's not the best place you can find in the area, but it is perfectly acceptable. London has a tendency to spoil you for choice, though!

Whilst waiting for my friend to meet me after work for my pre theatre dinner I went hunting for a quiet coffee shop at 4.30 pm so I can set up by workstation and bury my head in emails. I peeked though the window I was almost annoyed at myself as to why I have not stumbled across “Notes” before.It was super cute inside with wooden décor and most importantly wonderful coffee. I had the Chai Latte with Oat Milk with a small chocolate bar which was wonderful.

Sat myself on the large communal bench and started to catch up on my work emails without being distracted as it was a nice busy but not overcrowded. When I looked up at 6pm I saw the place almost transform from a coffee shop into a lively little bar/restaurant.

Wonderful little gem. May be my new daytime hideout whilst I am around the West end. 

A great addition to the London coffee-cum-bar scene, Notes has a few locations across London but definitely does not feel like a chain. My favourite cafe is one of the first Notes, just off Trafalgar square. Great for an afternoon coffee, or a post-work bite, Notes is packed with tasty treats, good wine and atmosphere. If you pop in around breakfast time expect sourdough toast with cashew nut butter or avocado salsa, bircher muesli or salmon and cream cheese croissants. At lunchtime, Notes brings out a nice of selection of salads and sandwiches, including more common choices such as chicken and avocado as well as slightly more creative options like roast beef with chilli jam. Step into Notes after sunset and you’ll be greeted by an irresistible continental spread of charcuterie and cheese boards. Wash them down with craft beer or your wine of choice and let the day fade away. 

I frequently visit the Canary Wharf branch of Notes on weekends when I need a peaceful and quiet place to work. Their coffe and iced coffees are delicious, and from a really great roast. It's in Crossrail place, so usually not empty but not too overwhelming either. There isn't any strong wifi (I can occasionally connect to O2 wifi) - but there are plug points so I usually just tether my phone, which isn't a problem for me at all. It has a light, airy and spacious feel with a few tables outside as well. There are large glass doors / windows so the sunlight just streams in making it a great weekend work space.


The coffee competition in London is pure crazy and I would say that this place is floating somewhere in the middle. The coffee is OK the price is steep the decor is nice and the clientele are all plugged in and eyes down. I wouldn't complain if someone wanted to buy me a coffee from here but it wouldn't be my first choice.


It was very busy but it didn't take a long time lurking around to find a seat. It's so busy and loud with chatter that I could barely hear myself think.The flat white is probably the most I've ever spent on the type in London and at that price I was expecting a lot. Unfortunately, it was bitter and underwhelming in flavour complexity. My sister had a hot chocolate - it comes in a metal mug and there was a metallic taste to it. 


This quiet and sophisticated little coffee shop and bar is located in an unassuming nook in the heart of London. All of the servers were really lovely though maybe slightly on the nonchalant side. I went on a first date and thought it was so charming, the perfect atmosphere to chat and let the day or night drift away. I opted for a chai tea which I kid you not it was the most delicious one I’ve ever had. Would make a great place to take someone visiting London after doing the tourist circuit.


Staff Writer

Notes staff consistently friendly, pleasant and attentive. Great selection of drinks, the coffee is spot on and the choice of food good. Always feels like a place were you can switch off from the hustle and bustle on the streets.

Snap up exclusive discounts in London

Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...