When I was younger, my parents loved walking in the Lake District. They would drag me along with the promise of a coffee and cake on the way. It became a weekend tradition, visiting many pretty coffee shops surrounded by picturesque English countryside. I distinctly remember the comforting and cosy feeling inside these shops – like I was sat in my nan’s living room.
Fast forward a few years and I’m in my final weeks working for Square Mile and sitting in St Davids Coffee House while they brew an Aeropress for me. A sense of nostalgia occurs – the shop is cosy, warm, traditional, totally unique and utterly brilliant. I wasn’t in the Lake District, nor was I in the countryside but Forest Hill in south east London. A slice of what I’d grown up with in the metropolis of London, I was sold immediately.
The owner, Sian Polhill-Thomas is a fellow northerner who has created a space that epitomises her own vibrant and joyful self. Its homely, down to earth, thriving with lots of creativity and artistic features, and they sure know how to make a good cup of coffee. They offer a unique cafe environment as a part of the ever-growing London scene, and are celebrating their 5 year anniversary this month, a huge achievement and testament to the excellent job they are doing.
Xander, the head barista makes a supreme Laksa curry which is on the menu one evening a week, paying tribute to his Malaysian roots. The shop also showcases other food pop ups during the week, and has become a really exciting community hub. The shop itself is across the road from Forest Hill overground station tucked between a row of traditional terraced houses. Make your way along the old stone path, up the historic steps and into the cosiest coffee shop in London, it is definitely worth paying a visit to this little gem.
You’ll find Sian in the shop most days, she is the energy behind St Davids success and with plans to expand downstairs later this year, we are seriously excited for them and can’t wait to see what the future brings. This is my last blogpost for Square Mile as I travel abroad, and was such a nice spot to finish up at the end of my time!