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23 July 2011

What's in Store (Street)?

In my ongoing attempt to pay less than the standard £12 central London cinema ticket price, I often find myself heading to a Curzon cinema at the weekend, where tickets are £7 before 2 pm, or £6 at the Renoir, located in the architectural wonder that is the Brunswick Centre. And so today, I went to the Renoir to catch the latest in the Gallic-thriller-based-on-an-Anglo-Saxon novel trend (of which more later). Serendipitous wandering, on my way back to NW1, brought me to Store Street in Bloomsbury, which I've been meaning to check out for some time now but Bloomsbury always feels one borough too far away for me, even though I can walk there in about 45 minutes, at most.

My first stop was Store Street Espresso at number 40, which, thanks to the Londonist's recommendation, has been on my caffeine to-do list for several months. I stopped by for an excellent macchiato (today featuring a guest espresso blend from Metropolis Coffee in Chicago, it seems), while I made a start on the Grauniad crossword and made a few notes on the movie I'd just seen in my Moleskine. As well as the coffee, Store Street Espresso offers some tasty-looking sarnies and an assortment of cakes and other sweetmeats, all served up with a very chilled out vibe and cool music. I'll have to go back when I have a bigger appetite.


Next came Potassium, a fashion/lifestyle boutique located at number 29. They have all sorts of lovely, colourful garments (pretty sundresses and funky leather handbags seemed to be a particular forte), as well as designer furniture (including some good bargains to be had on display models), candles and art. Unfortunately, the Store Street branch is a pop-up shop and only around until the end of August but fortunately, for me, at least, the main store is in Seymour Place, in SoMaRo.


Finally, just next door at number 28, is Caffè Paradiso, which is, unsurprisingly, an Italian cafe serving coffee, ciabatta sandwiches and genuine gelato. I still hadn't worked up enough of an appetite to indulge but this would be a lovely place to sit and pass a pleasant hour at one of the outdoor tables, one sunny lunchtime or afternoon.


This being Bloomsbury, Store Street also has a couple of quirky bookshops that might be worth a peruse: The Building Centre at number 26 for art, design and architecture books and Treadwell's at number 33 for all your magic, Wicca and paganism needs.

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