One of my favourite places in London is the Old Spitalfields Market. It is an excellent place for dawdling, shopping and eating something delicious. It has shops and services of all kinds (clothes, shoes, cosmetics, gifts, restaurants, cafes, etc.). As well as the permanent shops, the market has different exhibitors according to the day of the week. On Thursdays, there is a vintage fair where you can get from porcelain to clothes (a lot of beautiful things – I love it!).
There are several options when it comes to food. The best Fish and Chips in London is in the Poppies stall located inside the market. Good restaurants are also available, including a Portuguese venue called Taberna do Mercado. And plenty of food trucks and stalls with food from around the world – the perfect place to lunch during the week.
For the coffee, I love going to the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. The name comes from the goal of serving quality coffee to consumers in a friendly and social atmosphere. In fact, the atmosphere is casual and enjoyable. Good music, comfortable chairs to sit and chat, and the coffee is excellent. Service is very smooth and unpretentious. If it’s not crowded, you can speak with the baristas, who are usually friendly and like to talk about coffee.
Their speciality is single origin coffee. They usually have a variety of 3 or 4 grains for preparation and a few more for sale. My favourite at the moment is the Golden Ticket, from Ethiopia. It’s very perfumed, medium body, has notes of ripe fruit and lightness in acidity. It is unique!
On my first visit, I ordered the usual cappuccino. It was perfect! The temperature, the creamy texture, the flavours… all wonderful. It made me go back there more and more times. On another occasion, I ordered a flat white, and then, it became my favourite type of coffee. It is stronger, creamier and doesn’t have powdered chocolate over it.
The menu also includes teas, hot chocolate and some sweet treats always on display at the counter. Customers can drink water as they wish. Selected beans are available for sale, as well as handbags, mugs and other items. A cool fact about the company is their engagement with humanitarian causes.
Department of Coffee and Social Affairs
Old Spitalfields Market
6 Lamb Street