11 May 2021

The Caffeine Chronicles: White Mulberries, London Bridge

The window seats at the original White Mulberries cafe may have one of the best views of all the coffee shops in London, especially when the yachts in the St Katharine Docks marina glint in the sunshine. London's speciality coffee scene has changed a lot since my 2014 write-up, but the coffee, all-day breakfast and sweet treats at White Mulberries are still great. White Mulberries' second location, in Hay's Galleria in London Bridge, is even closer to my Bermondsey home.

A couple of minutes' walk from London Bridge station and a few steps from the Thames, Hay's Galleria is a converted wharf with various shops and cafes under a high, vaulted roof. The eateries' seating areas are classed as outdoor seating — so they have been able to welcome customers even before the impending return of indoor hospitality in England — but the roof provides shelter from the elements. 

White Mulberries' cafe has about nine or ten small tables in their outdoor area. You can book, although I was able to get a table as a walk-in after a short wait on both of my recent visits. The cafe itself has been refurbished and it's rather lovely, from the geometric design on the counter to the verdant shopfront, which coordinates well with the greenery inside. There are eight seats inside for when indoor dining is possible again: four along the wall opposite the counter and four in the window.

The coffee is from Allpress, and they also sell their own 'Sail On' coffee, a blend of coffees from Nicaragua, Colombia and Sumatra. The coffee menu is fairly straightforward, comprising the usual espresso-based drinks and batch-brew filter coffee. I ordered a piccolo and a flat white on my two visits. Both coffees were well brewed, and it was such a pleasure to drink them from glass and ceramic vessels, respectively.

I was also able to take advantage of the extensive food menu. On my first visit, I'd already eaten lunch and the pastel de nata made for an excellent dessert. When I returned at brunchtime on a bank holiday Monday, it was a lot busier, but this gave me the opportunity to eye up the various food options, which include breakfast bowls, salad bowls, sandwiches and sweet treats. 

There is also a particularly good 'topless' section, featuring toast with interesting toppings. The burrata and prosciutto looked great, but I went for a more classic brunch dish instead. My smoked salmon and avocado on toast, with fried eggs, did not disappoint. The eggs' yolks were perfectly runny and there was a delicious dressing on the avocado.

The staff were great on both visits, managing the regular influx of would-be brunch-goers very well, and providing efficient but welcoming service. And White Mulberries is well located for a post-prandial stroll.  Once you've walked out onto the Thames Path, you can either turn left and head west towards Bankside and Waterloo, or turn right and walk to Tower Bridge and then through Bermondsey and Rotherhithe to Greenwich.

White Mulberries. Unit 6, Hay’s Galleria, Tooley Street, London, SE1 2HD (Tube: London Bridge). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

For 140+ more of my favourite coffee shops in London, please check out my London speciality coffee guide.

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