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“Great coffee & cinnamon & cardamon buns” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Monocle Cafe

The Monocle Cafe
Ranked #142 of 834 Coffee & Tea in London
Cuisines: Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Takeout
Neighbourhood: Marylebone
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
96 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Great coffee & cinnamon & cardamon buns”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2014

I love popping in here for a coffee here. Staff are friendly & the street is on the up and trendy curve. My 10 year old has declared their cinnamon buns the best ever.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Globetrotterdog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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90 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    26
    37
    17
    9
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Good food!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2014

Been wanting to try this place out and it was a great surprise to find that they serve delicious food on top of the great coffee. The prawn katsu sandwich and the udon are amazingly delicious. Unfortunately they ran out of them pretty fast so we never got our seconds.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank grungeee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen
Level Contributor
250 reviews
187 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Good coffe - nice place”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2013 via mobile

I have passed this place many times and thought it was time to try it because People say they make good coffe. I am a coffe freak so it has to be good. Nice and friendly service although a bit unexperienced but ok, coffe arrives on a nice tray. I went for a Cappucino and It taste really nice but but but it was not warm - for a coffe house this is a absolute no go. I have given 3 and Will give it a chance more because of the nice surroundings

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Torben K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Attention to detail or the sad lack of”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2013 via mobile

I have been eager to try the cafe for some time. Every month I lap up the latest issue of the magazine, so I was looking forward to the "Monocle cafe" experience. Prior to going I had read all about the cafe in the magazine. The article in issue 62/April 2013 written by Hugo Macdonald had gone into great lengths and detail into the beautiful Japanese craftsmanship that went into constructing the screens and counter; choice of coffee "of the best quality" and freshly made food on offer. The article detailed these as well as highlighting everything else that makes this cafe so special and a destination where you would choose spend some time. However as a tea drinker the article failed to mention anything about the Tea they serve - what is offered and where it is sourced from. For a magazine that excels in reverence and attention to detail, I thought this was something lacking and upon my visit, I was sadly proved correct. The pot of mint tea had hardly enough mint leaves to last the whole pot. I doubt very much it would've lasted well into the third cup! The worst was the Earl Grey tea that had hardly any sign and pungency of Bergamot oil that is vital to all Earl Grey's! I found this very shocking for such an establishment. It was of the poorest quality and at £4 per pot, really? It's really not that hard to find a good quality Earl Grey in this city! The Earl Grey tea with the faintest of Bergamot tasted more like Breakfast Tea and not a very good one! The Japanese tea cups came with Espresso saucers that don't really go and fit. Don't these specially sourced cups come with their own saucers?! Again the attention to detail failed miserably. I sat in the back room, while very cosy and inviting, the big flat screen was too much and was too big and too invasive for the space. While as a design obsessive, I love all the reverence that was detailed in the article, the reality for The Monocle Cafe is that it's all style over substance, well for the tea at least. Mr Tyler Brûlé was sat downstairs and as my friend had paid for the teas, I did my best to persuade her to give some feedback on our poor experience and bad quality Earl Grey. Sadly for whatever reason she was not feeling up to it and a great opportunity missed to go straight to the top! So hopefully this review will fall on the right eyes and ears and some much-needed changes made!!! Unless these are made I won't be going out of my way to this cafe and for all tea drinkers tread very carefully! A big BIG disappointment to London's cafe culture. Was the point of Monocle opening up a cafe in this great city to serve it citizens and visitors rubbish tea?

Helpful?
1 Thank Cookiemonster333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
182 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 289 helpful votes
“The Monocle team’s new cafe offering”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2013

Tyler Brule is probably one of the leading commentators on global design, urban living and quality of life, so I was interested to try out his new cafe.

The cafe is located in a severe, almost austere street (tall red brick buildings, no greenery, a fair amount of traffic) – surrounded by wedding dress and second hand musical instrument shops. This was a bit of a surprise ..... I would have expected a Monocle Cafe to be in a buzzing transportation hub, or perhaps next to a cycle route/water feature/greenaway.

The cafe is expensive; an Americano at £3 is probably about a third more costly than Starbucks, with about half the size of cup. The coffee itself was good, but there was no skimmed milk option, nor was the milk served frothed up. It was presented on a convenient, small tray, but there was sadly no complimentary chocolate referred to by a previous reviewer. A small selection of highly calorific pastries and tarts were under a glass counter top, although they looked rather “soggy” (it was mid afternoon). There were no healthy food options (eg fruit, low fat yoghurt deserts). Those buying wedding dresses would certainly not be eating here! The service was pleasant and relaxed.

There were 5 outside seats but they were wooden and consequently quite hard and uncomfortable (probably need some cushions). Inside, there was a relatively small amount of space, but a back room with a large TV showing Sky News had a sofa, suitable for a group of customers together, plus there was a basement area (not especially inviting, then again coffee shops can often struggle with basement levels).

There was no wifi (possibly due to TB’s views about on line generally), but a selection of UK newspapers to read on the premises was prominently displayed, plus lots of opportunities to read or buy the current/back issues of the Monocle magazine itself. Bundled packages were being pushed hard (eg buy a Moncole magazine with your coffee for £6; or magazine and tote bag plus coffee for £9). This did give the impression of the cafe essentially being a large magazine kiosk which also happened to sell coffee, rather than a coffee house in its own right.

This probably isn’t therefore the sort of venue which lends itself to reading/browsing the web in a cosy atmosphere whilst taking a coffee, or writing/working on a Mac for a couple of hours inspired by a buzzy environment. TVs generally, including the showing of Sky News, are unusual in coffee shops; playing tracks from the Monocle CD, or its radio station, may be a better alternative option for ambience in the "sitting" room.

There is an on line page for the cafe as part of the Monocle web site, but it would have been good to see the menu/calorie information (and maybe a blog) on the site; a loyalty programme (eg buy 9 and get the 10th coffee free) would also have been nice to sign up to on the web.

It will be interesting to see how this great lifestyle brand develops its cafe offering going forward.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Airlineconsultant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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