27 October 2020

The Caffeine Chronicles: Over Under Coffee, Ladbroke Grove

Outside Over Under Coffee's Ladbroke Grove cafe, there's an A-board that reads 'best in the west'. Indeed, the Antipodean speciality coffee company has other locations in Earl's Court, West Brompton and Wandsworth, all a little far west for me even now I have two wheels at my disposal. And it was on two wheels that I made it to Ladbroke Grove on Sunday morning, despite the intermittently inclement weather.

It wasn't my first Over Under experience; I visited the location in Soho's Ham Yard a number of times before it closed, and have had the newest cafe on my radar for some time. I arrived at the Ladbroke Grove cafe just after 10 am, hoping to beat the mid-morning brunch rush. Spotting the pink signage across the road, I hopped off my Brompton, folded it up and was able to slide it in next to one of the free tables inside, glad to shelter from the rain.

The slender cafe has an up-lit counter near the door, which faces a pink sofa, and behind which are a half-dozen tables in front of the pink kitchen. With marbled tabletops, teal-accented walls adorned with framed photography, and pendant lighting, the d├ęcor is very attractive.

As is increasingly common, the online menu is accessed by scanning a QR code on your phone. The cocktail menu — for Over Under is open all day, and until 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays — looked great but as it was only 10 am and as I had to cycle home, I stuck to coffee this time. There's a batch brew on offer as well as all the usual espresso-based drinks. The espresso is a Colombian Risaralda regional blend roasted in collaboration with Assembly Coffee.

I ordered a piccolo, which was immaculately brewed with the chocolatey sweetness of the espresso coming through nicely in a little milk, while I decided what to eat. The brunch menu is varied, featuring sweet and savoury dishes, brunch classics and more creative dishes. 

After a hectic week at work, I was in the mood for comfort food and ordered the avocado toast with a poached egg. I wasn't disappointed. The smashed avocado was garnished with coriander, chilli and pumpkin seeds, and topped with an egg that was beautifully poached, the yolk oozing down the avocado peaks once pierced.

As I had anticipated, by the time I left Over Under, it had become a lot busier, with most of the physical-distancing-appropriate tables filling up. There was also a steady stream of customers ordering coffees to take away and of drivers picking up delivery orders (Brian, who recently visited the West Brompton Over Under, provides some more detail about how coffees are prepared for delivery on Brian's Coffee Spot). 

A break in the rain meant that it was time to don my helmet and head on my way home, via a quick stop at Amoret Coffee. On my way out, I browsed some of the items available for sale, from retail bags of coffee beans and a delicious-sounding pre-mixed Brooklyn Gin and pineapple cocktail, to an Over Under-branded Ocean Bottle

Over Under Coffee. 145 Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, London, W10 6HJ (Tube: Ladbroke Grove).  Website. Twitter. Instagram.

For 125+ more of my favourite coffee shops in London, please check out my London speciality coffee guide.

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