I'm on a mission to sell London. A good friend recently moved back to the UK from Melbourne and is probably (hopefully!) going to move to London once she's settled. In the meantime I am, totally selflessly, running a campaign to show her the very best of London, starting yesterday with a sunny day of contemporary art galleries and damn good coffee in Soho.
The Beak Street Fernandez & Wells has been one of my firm favourites since it opened, and now has the Suzy stamp of approval too. We arrived with serendipitous timing, just as two seats opened by the window, great for people watching. Note: must try harder not to giggle when people fall off the pavement, windows are two-way after all.
We both loved their beautifully poured stumpies (their version of a flat white), and my friend even picked up shades of the famous Aussie cafe relaxed atmosphere. Praise indeed. I'm hoping that will work as an extra convincer.
My cheese toastie was totally delicious and deserves a special mention - I wouldn't normally rave about a sandwich but the cheese and sourdough bread were both great quality and the addition of finely chopped leek and red onion cut through the richness brilliantly.
Another selling point for F&W - a new branch of Aesop, the cult Australian skincare brand, has just opened around the corner. My friend is now totally sold on their high quality botanical products, and the shop almost persuaded me to part with my Oil of Olay. Almost but not quite - my mother has used it for 40 years, and still looks ten years younger than she really is. That's good enough for me!
Next stop on the Sell London mission: a visit to the carefully selected coffees at St. ALi in Clerkenwell, a Melbourne import which should close the deal. Wish me luck!