To a Tea, 14 Farringdon Street, EC4

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Lovely setting, amazing-looking cakes and lovely salads & pasta. If you’re a tea-lover, all the better – it’s full of wonderful, exotic tea blends from around the world.
The coffee is also good: I would say light, but full favoured with a hint of roast nuts. Decently priced too. Friendly staff completes the package.
Coffee ***
Environment ****
Service ****
Others **** (food, tea…)

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Cafe Veloce, 9 Ludgate Square, EC4M 7AS (near St Paul’s Cathedral)

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Great fruitcake! Only a couple of small tables (toilets, not extra seating, are found downstairs) but pretty decor and large windows mean perching on the barra looking at the quiet cobbled street outside is a pleasure. Coffee is long, good crema, and the cup is nicely heated so it keeps its warmth without burning the coffee. Lots of interesting sandwiches available.
Coffee *** (perhaps more – still tasting fruitcake!)
£1.20
Service **** – friendly and efficient
Environment ***

Cafe Hill, Burgon Street, EC4 (historic Ludgate, near St Paul’s Cathedral)

Everywhere feels ancient in this twisty maze of lanes that fill the gap between St Paul’s Cathedral and Blackfriars, with the river Thames marking the southern edge. Cafe Hill is one of the small shops that are scattered between law firm offices, sandwich shops and barbers. It has two entrances – one on each side of the building – and about six small tables inside. Pleasant decor and a bright, clean layout, it’s quite a pleasant place to sit ( though no super-comfortable sofas). There’s a table on the pedestrian street outside.
The coffee is decent – 100% arabica according to the sign outside – but long and not especially remarkable.
I’d like to love this place, but unfortunately it’s average.
Coffee ***
£1.30
Environment ***

English Restaurant, 50-52 Brushfield St, Spitalfields, EC2

Pricey, but great coffee and really atmospheric place, it’s good for cold, grey days when you don’t want to be outside in the market. Lots of dark wood panelling and a few tables for coffee and cakes ( the larger part is for the restaurant) with a funky, bohemian vibe.
Coffee is short, strong and slightly caramel / treacle flavour. Lovely.
Coffee ****
£1.80
Environment ****

Cilantro, Broadgate Tower, EC2 (edge of City)

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Independent and decent sandwich shop, with nice-enough coffee and not-as-nice prices, as they add VAT or service charge if you sit in. Shame. Good seats and friendly, sit upstairs for quiet, or outside if it’s warm. Best of local area independents, but will perhaps struggle against Pret and Eat chains.
Coffee ***
£1.75 (inc. VAT) sitting in

Tuffo’s place, 58 Hutton Gardens, EC1

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Decent little place and well priced (especially given the diamond shops all around – check out the modern pieces in Landale Ltd opposite, for example). There are plenty of seats and they do a good range of sandwiches. Not classy, but a good, basic lunch stop. Shame the coffee is lackluster – decent crema, but weak and earthy.
Coffee **
Surrounds **
£1.20

The M Bar, Leadenhall Market (south), EC3

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Great little Italian style (though lots of Portuguese influences from the staff) cafe. Toasted sandwiches (panini and baguette as well as a few focaccia ), pasta and salads for lunch, with soft or alcoholic drinks to wash it down. Pastries and cakes on offer to complete the meal. Oh, and nicely homemade chips from the fryer. There’s a decent number of seats in the narrow space upstairs, and plenty of tables outside, both under cover and in the sun. Good prices and portions too.
Coffee **** (Illy)
Cakes *** (pasteis de nata are good)
Environment ***
Service *** (friendly if a bit rushed by the lunchtime crowds)