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6 December 2017

The Caffeine Chronicles: Over Under Coffee, Soho

Since talking to the good folks of Assembly Coffee at the London Coffee Festival in the spring, Over Under Coffee in Earl's Court has been on my coffee to-do list. I knew it would take me some time to find an opportunity to go that far west, however, and so it was fortunate that Over Under opened a second, more central location instead. I have often used Ham Yard as a cut-through between Great Windmill and Denman Streets just north of Piccadilly Circus, and as a over Over Under II, I now have an excuse to linger there instead of rushing through.


The Soho Over Under opened a few weeks ago while I was out of the country and it made the perfect pit-stop during my West End Christmas shopping on Saturday. As well as the Ham Yard Hotel, where I've been for a few meetings and events, there are some lovely shops in sleek, understated Ham Yard.  Over Under is on the right-hand side as you amble up from Denman Street.


The coffee shop is small inside, with just a dozen or so seats along a comfortable cushioned bench along one wall, and a couple of tables too cold to sit in on the day I visited. My eye was drawn immediately to the décor: the beautiful, beach prints took me right back to Sydney and Bondi and the Great Barrier Reef, where I was relaxing just over a month ago. I also loved the cheery pops of yellow behind the counter, on the bench and in the yellow cups sitting on top of the sleek Slayer machine.



The food also echoed my recent antipodean trip, with diverse breakfast bowls, toasts and sandwiches on offer. Another time, I'll have to come back to try the avocado toast, simply because I can't resist menu clickbait like "micro coriander". There are plenty of vegetarian, vegan and dairy- and gluten-free choices on the menu. I had already eaten but found room for two mini toffee cakes (£1 a pop), which were sweet and just indulgent enough.



And as for the coffee, it's from Assembly, of course, and tastes fantastic. The new Colombian espresso, which I'd sampled at Lumberjack the week before, wasn't in the hopper, but my piccolo (£2.40) was absolutely beautifully brewed, with a perfect swan floating elegantly on top. It tasted great too, and was complimented well by my toffee-pudding shooters.


With its friendly staff and laid-back, beautiful café, Over Under is relaxing spot for an excellent coffee away from the Soho crowds. I still plan to visit the Earl's Court original...it just might take a while.


Over Under Coffee. 4 Ham Yard Hotel, London, W1D 7DT (Tube: Piccadilly Circus). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

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