This diminutive cafe has packed into its limited space all the goodness of great coffee and treats, shedding all that’s superfluous - including backrests.
Tucked away in the pleasant and quiet Great Ormond Street, The Espresso Room is nested in a small room which is efficiently organised to deliver the best coffee and to welcome customers, who are invited to sit on low benches alongside the wall and the show window. The bar itself occupies one corner. Coffees are brewed here despite the diminutive space and there is also a display of pretty pastries and inviting sandwiches.
Everything unnecessary has been disposed of, including the bench’s backrest, menus (choices are written on the walls) and even tables, although you can perch your coffee on an empty seat if the place is not too packed. Whatever the weather, The Espresso Room inevitably spills outside onto the wide pavement, which has space for another twenty or so customers keen to stick around for a chat over a smooth brew.
The Espresso Room is a well guarded secret. During rainy days, expect a queue of people outside braving the elements in order to get a takeaway. Some customers call the manager by first name and many people know each other, but the staff seem to keep some distance when addressing unknown faces.
The Espresso Room may be small but they still pack within its limited space a selection comparable to much larger independent cafes. They have a sweet section (under £2) including all the typical pastries like apple Danishes, tempting chocolate brownies and ultra smooth blondies, large almond croissants and even cinnamon biscuits, ideal for dipping in a latte.
For lunch they serve homemade sandwiches (£2 - £4) with fillings including definitely posh ingredients like crayfish tails, artichoke hearts, smoked chicken breast, roast beef and blue cheese. A daily soup (£3.80) is also available and is served with quality sourdough, and in the morning, you can order traditional porridge (£2.50) topped with fruit, honey and more.
Square Mile and their beans are the treat you’re in for with every cup of coffee ordered at The Espresso Room. Varieties are selected with extreme care and brewing is taken seriously. You can choose from all your regular coffees, from macchiato to flat white to for mocha and Americano. Prices are a more-than-fair £1.50 to £2.70, depending on the size and variety. If you like what you taste, you can purchase a bag of beans to take home. Teas, from simple builder’s tea to herbal brews, are also available. Takeaway cups are 100% compostable.
The Last Word
Inside its small space, The Espresso Room contains all you could want in a coffee shop.