Sunday, 17 May 2009

LJ Coffee House

Been sometime since I popped by.

The man himself, LJ.
Despite the studious academic outlook, he makes a mean cup of coffee.

Perfect Union capps.
Happy to be back!
(Servings wise, LJ's cups are more than generous. Probably the best value cup of good coffee in Central London)


The thing about LJ is that not only the staff are friendly but the customers always seem happy and shiny.
Banish any expenditure on psychotherapy, this place will cheer you up!

Sometimes I get asked about where the heck do I find the time to indulge in this hobby of satiation without shame. Well, I suppose the combination of being self-employed and not owning a tv helps. The latter is an absolute evil of distraction, I haven’t owned a tv for nearly four years hence the amount of free time that I have on my plate. Popped by here this morning only to find that it doesn’t open till thirteen hundred hours (‘tis Sunday after all), decided to divert to Broadway Market and attempt again later. In my books, this is the art of killing time that’s also rewarding in the end.

LJ Coffee House was stumbled upon whilst reading the comments on Time Out’s informative but diffident list of cafés and coffee shops in London. LJ stands for Littlejohn and it’s the owner’s surname (Labdien David!). The location in the heart Soho can only suggest an easy pilgrimage- I used to think of Winnett Street as nothing but a ‘public convenience’ thoroughfare, but thankfully that’s no longer the case as it’s being re-tarted by the council to comply with the needs of a less seedy Soho. LJ’s is less than six months old and without the need of any assistance from PR dorks, its reputation is already thriving via the word of mouth.

This place is kitted out with comfort and ease in mind. Furniture includes low and comfy leather armchairs that should be prescribed to insomniacs, regular chairs and tables for those who prefer not to slouch and

high lippy stools by the front of the room for fans of natural daylight (love them!).

It’s also quite obviously done up as an extension to somebody’s living room, what with board games, books, a Japanese lucky cat waving at you when you come in and

of course a bit of art on the wall (for sale no less).

As always, coffee is the be all and end all when I make an appearance for the first time to places like here. The coffee is supplied by the wonderful Union Hand-Roasted company. The blend used here is the same as the one used by one of my all time favourite coffee bars in London, Taylor St Baistas. The Revelation blend is in my humblest; an utterly sacred blend that's fit enough for celestial taste buds.
This is Maris (I’ll thump anyone on the head if they dare mention connotations relating to the word piper!). He is a friendly fella and he made coming here an absolute joy. If it’s anything to go by, our man Maris is also qualified shrink.

No Flat White here (well maybe not yet). Nice novel touch with real pieces of chocolate thrown in. Good tasting cup but technically not quite up there with the best. By enlarge This place is still young and I daresay Maris will shine as a great barista in due course.

Lemon and Blueberry Drizzle Cake

The Revelation Espresso
Highly drinkable coffee porn!

We’re now really spoilt for choice on where to go for some decent coffee in the West End. I'll state with confidence that LJ’s Maris, Wild & Wood’s Bożena and F&W’s Ecuadorian dude (I’ll get his name soon) are the most genuine café heroes in this part of London, people like them make your cup of coffee goes much further than ever before. LJ Coffee House is a great find. Highly recommended.

I hope that the owner don't mind me mentioning this, LJ is also an exponent of the above flag.
Image courtesy of FOTW

3 Winnett Street


Sally James said...

I've been going here since LJ Coffee House opened and I agree with all your comments! It's so nice to finally be getting some excellent venues producing some fantastic coffees at last. A pity you didn't meet the owner; LJ, he's so much fun and really passionate about the coffee - although so is Maris!

Great review.


N.B : David produces a mean Flat White - just ask him for one!

bellaphon said...

Sally- thanks for stopping by, looking forward to David's flattie.

kang said...

Ditto Taylor St and Union Roast, those guys really do know coffee, great choice picking them as your favourite. :)

Its commendable that you don't own a TV! I wish I had more restraint, I couldnt do without my daily dose of Jeremy Paxman, or match of the day for that matter.

bellaphon said...

Hey Kang,
Thanks for stopping, to be honest I do miss Kirsty Wark.

I heart cupcakes said...

Another of your recommendations for me to try! I'm off work tomorrow and may have to go a wandering!

bellaphon said...

IHC- Hope you enjoy it as much as I did ;)

Andrew Kiley said...

Hi there,

Love your blog - am slowly doing the rounds of the places you've recomended - LJ's is definately the best so far. Friendly, fun, funky and relaxed - such a nice change from the cr*p in Soho!!

'Tis my new weekend spot - bottomless coffee and a paper on a Sunday Morning - Bliss!!


bellaphon said...

Andrew- Thank you for your comments. It was because of you I went back today. Elated.

Andrew Kiley said...

Hey bellaphon,

Don't know if you read the Independent a few saturdays back by LJ's was no. 7 in their top 50 places for coffee in the UK!

(You - and then me - found it first!!)

Thanks for staying ahead of the game!


Julliet Norse said...

Loving this place!

The owner is really knowledgeable and help me choose the right bean - I had their Limited Edition Winter blend as a Flat White - PERFECT. Far better than the other mediocre dross about in soho.

I bought a bag of beans for my machine at home and after a demonstration I also grabbed an aeropress - it looks great as a quick alternative to my espresso machine - I'm off to play!!

Great review - Great Coffee Shop - Thank you so much!

gevalia coffee said...

That is a place is so cool. I love the surroundings. Everything inside is so amazing. I am sure that the coffee is the most amazing thing in that wonderful place.

sex therapy said...

Another of your recommendations for me to try! I'm off work tomorrow and may have to go a wandering!