Caravan is situated in buzzy Exmouth Market, an area highly trafficked during the week by the neighborhood's many creative, often design firm-employed workers. Billed a "Bar and Roastery," here you can partake of their fine coffee or one of many cocktails, an Espresso Martini (vodka, house espresso, crème de cacao) among them.
Food comes mainly in small plate form, so portion hogs, beware. Some of the creative tapas up for noshing include Squid Pancakes with Japanese Brown Sauce and Oxtail with Crème Fraiche Polenta, but the menu is wont to change with availability of ingredients.
· Flat White and Milkbar
Planted in the middle of Soho's media hub, where you might catch a glimpse of Mike Leigh making his way down Greek Street, sister cafes Flat White and Milkbar (on Berwick and Bateman Street, respectively) have all but cornered the artisan coffee market. (Kaffeine is another top contender, but that's for another Anti-Starbucks installment.)
You would be remiss not to order the namesake drink or a snack from their modest, but reliably tasty menu. A Roasted Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Panini recently hit the spot when we stopped by amid manic errand-running.
· Ginger and White
"We don't do Grande," Ginger and White's website proudly proclaims, its motto emblazoned across a modified Union Jack. If that doesn't scream "Anti-Starbucks," we don't know what does. Tucked away on a side street in Hampstead, this tiny cafe does small bites and no nonsense coffee, their beans handroasted by the aforementioned Square Mile.
Food is simple and unpretentious, their ingredients organic and local when possible. If you can squeeze past the prams ("strollers" to Americans) and find a seat at the communal table or by the window, you may be able to get some work done with the help of their free WiFi.
Photo: Ginger and White