It’s quite true that some things get better with age and with its timeless appeal, Scooter Works Café, aka ScooterCaffe, is very much a proof in point.
Tucked away in a world of its own, Scooter Works has no peers to speak of around its base on Lower Marsh Street in Waterloo. From the outside it may look like a simple café, albeit one with a rather dashing striped awning, but within there’s not a single quiet corner. Both highly stylized, yet unpretentious, the café does a good job of arranging various odds and sods into one cohesive look – the crooked, mismatched tables, salvaged trinkets and strung-out mass of fairy lights do their best to divert attention from what birthed this café – the Vespa scooter. Originally existing as a workshop for the repair of scooters, the cafe has evolved over the years to outgrow the original business and take over the space. The presence of the hip two-wheeler is still felt throughout though, and this just adds to what is simply one of London’s coolest places.
Stay upstairs for the coffee shop crowd and the wandering house cats that lend the café a sweet line in homely integrity. Conversation overlaps with the sounds of blues, polka and Billie Holiday as a mature crowd schmooze to the music. Below you’ll find further seating but, more importantly, an area that hosts live music, art shows, spoken word and cinema that reinforces the art-house coffee shop credentials.
There is no food at the ScooterCaffé but you’re welcome to bring your own. The counter doubles as an espresso bar and spirit rack, although it’s the vintage coffee makers that grab your attention. If you’re after a good flat white you won’t find many better south of the river. Alcoholic consumption steps up in the evenings when it feels more like a bar and there’s a small range of wine, bottled beers and premium spirits.
The Last Word
ScooterCaffe is an unassuming pleasure, which makes it difficult not to spew out hyperbole about it, so we’ll end by saying you’ll really like it.