Java journeys: What are the best cafes in Kensington?

Did you know that within the elegant streets of Kensington lies a treasure trove of delightful cafes waiting to be explored? Just as Kaitoke Regional Park in Upper Hutt played a role in cinematic history, Kensington too has its claim to fame in the world of culinary experiences. 

Join us as we embark on a delectable journey through the finest cafes this London district has to offer. Here, every latte has a story, and every pastry is a work of art.

Hjem Kensington 

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Location: 3 Launceston Pl, London W8 5RJ, United Kingdom

Contact: [email protected]

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Hjem Kensington marries Scandinavian simplicity with British refinement. The name ‘Hjem’ is actually the Norwegian word for ‘home’, and this cosy café does feel like a second home to its patrons. 

Hjem Kensington understands the art of ‘fika’, a cherished Swedish tradition that’s all about taking a break, enjoying coffee, and indulging in some delicious pastries. 

If you’re wondering about their best sellers, it has to be the irresistible Cardamom Bun. This Scandinavian delicacy is a true crowd-pleaser, combining the warmth of cardamom and the sweet comfort of baked goods.

Cafe Phillies 

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Location: 2A Phillimore Gardens, London W8 7QB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7938 1890

Website

While coffee might be Cafe Phillies’  morning star, you can savour a glass of wine here too whenever you please. Their well-curated selection of reds, whites, and rosés is always on hand. 

Whether you prefer a bold red to complement your morning cappuccino or a crisp white to enjoy with your afternoon pick-me-up, there’s something for every palate.

But if you really want to love a little extra sweetness, the “Kensington Caramel Delight” remains a top choice – a blend of caramel, double espresso, and steamed milk that’s nothing short of perfection.

Italian Gardens Cafe 

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Location: Kensington Gardens, London W2 2SD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8640 1700

Website

The name of the cafe isn’t just for show. It’s situated right next to the Italian Gardens, a picturesque spot within Kensington Gardens. You can sit outside on a sunny day, sipping your espresso while you take in the beauty of the manicured lawns and tranquil fountains. 

And, if you’re curious about their bestseller, it has to be the “Amore Mio” – a delightful concoction of espresso, hazelnut syrup, and steamed milk, topped with a sprinkle of cocoa. 

Caffè Concerto Kensington

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Location:  88 Kensington High St, London W8 4SG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7494 6850

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Caffè Concerto Kensington knows how to brew a perfect cuppa. They source their beans meticulously and craft each espresso with care. For example, their “Concerto Coffee” is an enchanting blend of espresso, frothy milk, and a dash of hazelnut syrup.

Of course, you can’t enjoy your coffee without a sidekick. And oh boy, does Caffè Concerto Kensington deliver in this department! They’ve got a heavenly array of pastries, from delicate macarons to freshly baked croissants that flake like love letters from the oven. 

And their cakes? Let’s just say that if you’re craving something sweet, they’ve got your dessert dreams sorted.

Coco Momo

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Location: 25 Gloucester Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 4PL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3985 9415

Website

The name “Coco Momo” may sound whimsical, but the flavours here are seriously sophisticated. 

The coffee, the lifeblood of every cafe, is roasted to perfection. From the rich, velvety espresso to the silky lattes, Coco Momo knows how to brew a cup that’ll have your taste buds doing the samba.

And speaking of dancing flavours, their bestseller, the “Coco Momo Mocha”, is an absolute showstopper. It’s a mix of espresso, velvety chocolate, and a swirl of whipped cream. It’s like a chocolatey, caffeinated ballet on your palate – sweet and satisfying.

Fait Maison

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Location: 144 Gloucester Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 4SZ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3490 5585

Website

Fait Maison is all about fresh, homemade goodness. From flaky croissants to rich, creamy quiches, their pastries are a work of art. 

But what’s the star of the show? The legendary “Fait Maison Hot Chocolate”. It’s no ordinary hot cocoa: it’s a liquid embrace of warmth and velvety chocolate that will have you convinced you’re sipping happiness itself.

Fait Maison doesn’t just stick to one cuisine either. They offer a global culinary experience. Whether you’re in the mood for a Mediterranean-inspired salad, a mouthwatering Moroccan tagine, or a classic British afternoon tea, they’ve got it all. 

Cafe Nouvelle

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Location: 69 Abingdon Rd, London W8 6AW, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7938 2523

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Cafe Nouvelle effortlessly exudes that distinctive Parisian flair. From the moment you step inside, you’re transported to the charming cafes that line the streets of Montmartre. 

But here’s the real showstopper: the “Cafe Mélange”. This little wonder is a blend of espresso, steamed milk, and a touch of silky whipped cream. It’s like sipping on a cloud of coffee goodness, and it’s an absolute must-try.

Cafe Jumo

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Location: 32b Kensington Church St, London W8 4HA, United Kingdom

Contact: You may contact them here

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Cafe Jumo is like a world tour for your taste buds. This charming café takes the concept of international coffee to a whole new level. 

From a rich Ethiopian Yirgacheffe to a smooth Guatemalan Antigua, they source beans from across the globe to create a diverse and delightful menu. 

At Cafe Jumo, you’ll find a delightful range of pastries, cakes, and sandwiches. One of their best -sellers is the mouthwatering almond croissant – perfectly flaky and filled with a delicious almond paste. 

Montparnasse Cafe 

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Location: 22 Thackeray St, London W8 5ET, United Kingdom

Contact:  +44 20 7376 2212

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Imagine strolling down Kensington High Street and suddenly stumbling upon a charming Parisian café. That’s Montparnasse Cafe’s enchanting allure. 

With its elegant decor and sidewalk seating that beckons you for people-watching, it’s as close to a Parisian bistro as you can get without booking a Eurostar ticket.

Now, let’s talk about the pièce de résistance – their café au lait. It’s a creamy concoction that’s nothing short of life-changing. With a perfect balance between espresso and steamed milk, it’s the kind of sip that can convert even the staunchest tea drinker into a coffee enthusiast. 

Café de Fred

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Location: 10A Earls Ct Rd, London W8 6EA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7960 722425

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Café de Fred is renowned for its meticulous coffee preparation. They understand the nuances of coffee beans and the art of blending them. From the fragrant aroma to the rich taste, every cup is a masterpiece in its own right. 

One of their signature drinks, the “Velvet Latte”, deserves a special mention. It’s a creation that’s both a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. A latte art masterpiece, it’s a concoction of smooth, velvety coffee and frothy milk, topped with an intricate design. 

Guillam Coffee House

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Location: 24 Gloucester Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 4RB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7447 500237

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Guillam Coffee House has a little green secret up its sleeve – they are dedicated to sustainability. They source their coffee beans responsibly, and their takeaway cups and packaging are eco-friendly. 

So, not only are you indulging in a fantastic coffee experience, but you’re also doing your bit for the planet.

Plus, no café is complete without some delectable pastries, and Guillam’s got that aspect down to perfection. Their signature best seller is the Raspberry Rose Croissant – a fusion of French sophistication and creative innovation. 

Café Deco

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Location: 62 Gloucester Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 4QT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7225 3286

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Established in the early 20th century, Café Deco has stood the test of time, witnessing the ebb and flow of Kensington’s culture. The café’s rich history seeps into its very essence, giving you a taste of tradition as you sip your coffee.

Café Deco’s menu boasts an array of delectable treats, but one that stands out is the Blackberry Bliss Muffin. It’s a delightful concoction of sweet and tart, with plump blackberries mingling with moist muffin goodness. 

Labakery

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Location: 246 Kensington High St, London W8 6ND, United Kingdom

Contact: N/A

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Labakery is all about balance. It marries the grandeur of Kensington’s historic architecture with a modern, sleek interior. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a café from the future, with its minimalist design and clean lines.

One of their signature beverages is the Matcha Latte. It’s a glorious green elixir, a matcha lover’s dream come true. With its perfect balance of earthy matcha tea and creamy milk, it’s a sip of Zen in a cup. 

Caffè Nero

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Location: 119/121 Gloucester Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 4TE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7244 8578

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Caffè Nero is a slice of Italy right in the heart of Kensington. The cafe was founded by Gerry Ford, a man who fell in love with Italian coffee culture and decided to share that passion with the world. 

The result? A delightful blend of Italian tradition and British love for coffee.

Anyway, what truly sets Caffè Nero apart is its Flat White. It’s a velvety blend of espresso and steamed milk, characterised by its perfect microfoam. One sip, and you’ll understand why it’s a beloved favourite.

Over Under Coffee

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Location: 181A Earls Ct Rd, London SW5 9RD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3807 8019

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Tucked away on Earl’s Court Road, Over Under Coffee is one of Kensington’s best-kept secrets. And while you might miss it on a brisk stroll, the aroma of freshly roasted coffee will certainly lead you to their doorstep.

When it comes to signature drinks, the Turmeric Latte at Over Under Coffee is an absolute showstopper. It’s a golden elixir with a burst of warm flavours. 

Turmeric, honey, and a dash of black pepper mingle with frothy milk to create a comforting concoction that’s as good for your taste buds as it is for your well-being.

Café Society

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Location: 1 Kynance Pl, South Kensington, London SW7 4QS, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8037 8635

Website

Café Society is a haven for the intellectual and the artistic. The name itself conjures images of Parisian salons filled with writers, artists, and thinkers debating the grand questions of the world. 

To add to that image, the shelves are lined with books, and they often host book readings and literary events. So, if you’re a bookworm, this is the ideal place to sip a latte while you immerse yourself in the written word.

LIFT COFFEE

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Location: 133 Kensington Church St, London W8 7LP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8037 8635

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While coffee is the hero of the story here, Lift Coffee adds a splash of artistry to every cup. Their baristas are more like coffee alchemists, concocting brews that are not only rich in flavour but also visually captivating. 

One of their star attractions is the Coconut Cold Brew. It’s a refreshing tropical twist to your classic cold brew, with a smooth coffee base mingling with the lush creaminess of coconut milk.

Le Monde

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Location: 56 Earls Ct Rd, London W8 6EJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7938 1206

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While Le Monde’s menu boasts a variety of exquisite coffee creations, one that deserves special mention is the Hazelnut Latte. The nutty sweetness of hazelnut combined with velvety milk and perfectly brewed espresso is a harmony of flavours that will make your taste buds sing.

And of course, no café experience is complete without delectable pastries, and Le Monde doesn’t disappoint. Their Lemon Drizzle Cake is a work of art, a burst of zesty lemony goodness topped with a delicate glaze.

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