07 November 2014

The Caffeine Chronicles: Continental Stores

Lunch breaks have been few and far between for me, of late, but I managed to steal away for an hour last Friday when the sunshine was still out in London. My destination was Continental Stores, a sister café of Store Street Espresso, which is based on Tavistock Place. Technically, it is located in Bloomsbury but was only a brisk ten-minute walk from my King's Cross office, so I'm sure it won't be the last time I visit.

Tavistock Place is a quiet-ish street just off Judd Street and Continental Stores adds a colourful pop of red to an otherwise unexciting block. There are a few tables outside — which probably won't see much use for the next few months — and then more tables and places to perch inside. The café itself is light and airy, and decorated with colourful art and flowers — and sexy, monochrome coffee-making kit. The seats in the front window are great for watching the denizens of Bloomsbury stroll by.

I really needed a black coffee and happily, Continental Stores serves hand-brewed coffee in Aeropress and V60 format. The coffee of the day was a Kenyan variety from Square Mile, which the barista recommended I try as a pourover, so I did. I wanted something to eat as well, but the brunch menu looked delicious, but a little too ambitious for a weekday — or, at least, for that particular weekday.

Yes, that's right, folks: WEEKDAY BRUNCH! I realised too late that I could have asked for avocado on toast, but by then I had settled for a piece of billionaire's shortbread. I say settled, when in fact my cake was delicious. I would definitely like to try the chorizo, poached eggs, avo and roasted tomatoes on sourdough toast (£8.50) one day when I have more time.

As for the coffee, it was great. I could really taste the fruity acidity of the Kenyan coffee and it had enough of a kick to power me through a busy afternoon over-populated with meetings. Plus, the staff at Continental Stores are very friendly and knowledgeable. All in all, it's a great place to hang out.

Continental Stores. 54 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9RG (Tube: Russell Square). Website. Twitter.


  1. Anonymous14:53

    Yes, I like Continental Stores... it always seems slightly more relaxed than its sister cafe Store Street Espresso, although I only ever visit it first thing in the morning.

  2. Continental Stores is great. Sadly I don't get to visit very often, but like Duncan I find it more relaxed than Store Street. It seems to have taken the best Store Street has to offer and moulded it into its own unique thing. And the brunch is new since my visit!


  3. I know what you both mean about Store Street. I've only been there on hectic Saturday afternoons, so maybe it is quieter during the week. Brunch at Continental Stores does sound most exciting, though, if dangerously close to my office.