I know about Monocle as a fashionable magazine from my time in Japan.  I didn’t know that they had made the jump to serving beverages too.  Maybe this is an idea for me although my current career and drink don’t really mix, except to dull the pain…

Indeed the staff looked to be exclusively all Japanese and cheerful in that typical smiling way of Japan.  Although I know that a favoured pastime seems to be bemoaning the advance of automation taking our jobs, in many coffee shops I think a computer taking your order would actually have more emotion.  So Monocole makes a nice change from the usual robotic London service which implicitly asks you to move along quickly.

The tempting counter.  It heavily featured allusions to the flagship magazine amongst the various treats and joys on offer.

Flat white (closer) and latte (further).  These were both excellent.  So much so that these are up with some of the best that I’ve had in London.  Creamy milk with carefully pulled coffee, a delight.  They source their beans from Allpress, that Kiwi bastion of good coffee.  Each even came with a small complimentary chocolate all served for you by way of a small wooden tray.

Cheesecake.  Achieving that flakiness and mushiness of good cheesecakes that I have known, it was a joy to behold (and eat).  Heavy and full bodied, this was a very satisfying with an inviting decadent and soft texture.

As for the atmosphere, it was cosy and clean although space was a bit dear.  Decked out in wood with smart little stools and a couch at the back, it felt more like someone’s living room rather than a shop.  The most enviable seat for me was the two seats right in front of the double height window.  Unfortunately, it seemed that everyone knew that too, so taking a perch nearby, I waited greedily for the space to open up.  When it was vacated, to use a phrase which friends seem to love, I arrived faster than a speeding arrow to claim my seat.

As for why I seem so very annoying about where I sit here, it is because if you manage to score one of the ground floor seats, especially near the window, it feels very much as if you were having your coffee at a friend’s chic Victorian property.  Given that I have dreamed for many years of living in a place like that but the finances are a bit of a stretch for me, this is probably the next best thing.

I was so happy with my visit, that the next day I had to return to check that it hadn’t been a dream.  It wasn’t.  The coffee was as good as before and lucky me, the same seat was waiting for me.


A quiet eating 8.5/10.

A coffee and cake was GBP10.


The Monocle Cafe

18 Chiltern St, Marylebone,
London W1U 7QA


The Monocle Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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