Marylebone is one of few posh neighbourhoods in London, with less of that intimidating arrogance in Mayfair and Chelsea, and more of a serene village in the centre of London. You’ll find some indie boutiques on Marylebone High Street, a beautiful Daunt Books complete with stained glass windows, and all the tourists queuing outside Madame Tussauds.
There are not many independent cafes in this area, but there are 2 that I do love and recommend that happens to be a stone’s throw from each other on the same street – Chiltern Street. Find rows of beautiful red brick, opposite Chiltern Firehouse, the renowned people-watching spot.
The Monocle Cafe is in fact very much related to the Monocle Magazine, a magazine on global affairs, lifestyle, business, culture and design. (Think of it as their side business.)
This one is one of my all-time favourites spots for a relaxed morning coffee. Spot the striking black-and-white striped awning underneath the red brick; inside, a cosy, dimly lit nook where locals and tourists enjoy some quiet time over a nibble and coffee.
You’ll spot the heavy usage of oak in their interiors, from the coffee counter to the chairs to the panelling in the bathroom, put together by a team of Japanese designers and architects.
The menu itself also has many Japanese influences: my favourite lunchtime go-to is the shrimp katsu sando (sandwich with fried shrimp patty and egg salad), followed by a slice of matcha cheesecake freshly made by the local Lanka Patisserie for dessert. Aside from coffee, they have a range of soft drinks – I recently tried the Yuzu lemonade which I haven’t found anywhere else in London. (Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit which is a hybrid of a mandarin and a pomelo.)
The Monocle Cafe
18 Chiltern St, Marylebone, London W1U 7QA
Mon – Sun 8am – 4pm
To say they are “new” will be far from accurate – Shreeji News has been here at the same exact location for 38 years and counting, selling global headlines all the way to hard-to-find publications.
The local newsagents has undergone some serious rebranding and revamp, and just reopened its doors in March serving coffee and pastries from Le Deli Robouchon alongside city guides.
A doorway within the magazines opens into a relaxing, cosy reading room adorned with stylish furniture. There are also a range of lifestyle products on display which the new co-owners have saught from designers and suppliers all over the world, including quality teas, candles and glassware.
6 Chiltern St, Marylebone, London W1U 7PT
Mon – Sun 9am – 4pm