Sunday, 8 January 2012

A review of Grind Coffee Bar

Westfield, Stratford City

Have you been brave enough to hit the January sales yet? If not, and you live in/near London, why not try out the new(ish) Westfield shopping centre at Stratford? There’s free parking for up to two hours, more shops than you can shake your handbag at and... an outpost of Grind Coffee Bar in the basement.

Soon you won’t be able to get near the place without getting stampeded by tourists as its right next to the Olympic site. However, for the meantime, if you find time to pop along off peak (weekdays or evenings it’s generally not too busy) then make sure you head to the ground floor and have a coffee break at Grind Coffee Bar.

Originally a coffee cart outside a music shop in Putney, SW London, they soon became overrun with ‘cueing’ customers (so what if they can’t spell ‘queuing’?) and moved into permanent premises. Spotting an opportunity with the opening of Westfield Stratford less than two years after setting up shop, they set up their second coffee bar late last year.

In a shopping mall overrun with chains of clothing and coffee stores, Grind Coffee Bar offers a welcome hit of independent retailing and I’d urge anyone shopping at Westfield to look beyond their usual ‘safe’ option and try them out. I found the staff friendly and attentive and was pleased to see their antipodean influence spill over into the generously sized blueberry muffin and expertly poured cappuccino.

One of my favourite things about Grind Coffee Bar Westfield however, is their use of space. I know that sounds preposterously pompous, but it’s something I find really interesting about cafes. With only two walls, the majority of the space is open plan, with furniture spilling out into the main shopping arcade. However, they’ve somehow managed to give the space a real cosy feel and you don’t feel exposed to the shoppers passing by.

I only took photos on my phone as I wasn’t expecting to find such a little gem on my shopping trip, so for some much better photos check out this blog post by London Tastin.

Grind coffee bar have a website, and are on Twitter.

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