08 December 2022

The Caffeine Chronicles: Old Spike, Elephant & Castle

I've been spending more time in and around Elephant & Castle since I moved house earlier this year and although there are plenty of great eateries in the area, there aren't a lot of speciality coffee options. So, I was pleased to come across a new location of Old Spike — the Peckham-based coffee shop and roastery — mere steps from Elephant & Castle Tube on one of my lunchtime walks.

I've long been a fan of Old Spike and their commitment to combining great coffee with social enterprise and social impact. As well as their Peckham Rye cafe, they have a coffee bar near Piccadilly Circus, which was formerly a Department of Coffee shop and, before that Tonic Coffee. Their third coffee shop on Southwark Bridge Road opened up a few months ago.

The coffee shop is located on the ground floor of a sleek residential development a block north of the infamous not-quite roundabout. It was a sunny day when I visited and light was streaming into the small cafe. There are limited seating options inside, as well as a few tables and a couple of benches outside on the wide pavement area.

There's a relatively simple drinks menu, mainly featuring espresso-based drinks and filter coffee. If you're feeling peckish, they also have a few sandwiches, sweet treats and snacks on offer. You can also buy retail bags of beans — there were about ten single origins and blends available when I was there, featuring Old Spike's distinctive and elegant pink and gold packaging.

As 'twas the season, the Christmas Blend, with coffees from Brazil and Kenya, was in the hopper. I'd brought my reusable cup with me just in case, but if you're drinking in, Old Spike has some rather lovely ceramic cups so I had my cortado in one of those. My coffee was very nicely brewed and the toffee apple and dried fruit notes came out nicely with a little milk. Old Spike are donating £1 from every bag sold towards supporting those experiencing homelessness.

The baristas were very friendly and welcoming and it's great to know that in Old Spike, I have another option for a coffee stop on my lunchtime walks.

Old Spike Roastery. 251 Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 6FJ (Tube: Elephant & Castle). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

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

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