TAP Coffee – No. 26 Rathbone Place

“Life seems so am/pm. But really, it’s not all as balanced as that…” ― Jarod Kintz,  A Zebra is the Piano of the Animal KingdomTAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London

Cakes and coffee hit:

The door is wide open

Hey there, No. 26 –

How did you know

You’d be the place

We couldn’t resist?

TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London Cakes Counter and SaladsInstant love: The time has come around again for you to eat your screens.

TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London cakes mini tartsFirst up: one of the things I liked most about this (almost) Charlotte Street gem was the friendliness of the staff.

Even though in most coffee shops, the air is calm and the service is nice enough – a lot of Londoners can probably relate to finding the majority of places to be quite hasty and cold in the way they have to ‘welcome’ you in…

Even though I spend a lot of time ordering Mochas and eyeing up cakes in new locations on repeat, I confess that I still get *those* awkward moments of unease when trying somewhere new.

I mean, sometimes, it doesn’t matter how good the cakes look or how much space is available for you to sit inside if the staff can’t just ‘let you be’… You ready or what? (Say their expressions) – Forced greetings. Chop, chop. Next! Then you’ve got to worry about finding a seat. Pressure much?! And then you feel your mind gulping and going fffiiiiizzzzzzzzz. It can’t just be me?!

But at no. 26, the process is completely different. Everything about this place is beyond warm – it is welcoming. Despite its minimalistic design and plain white walls, you are sucked in and made to feel right at home straight away – the open door really makes a difference (though this is my subconscious speaking). There is something incredibly warm in here.

TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London InteriorThe baristas are then happy to let you gawk at the display for as long as you like; they treat you as more than just another customer. I can’t explain it? They speak to you differently here, and it isn’t just a front they get paid to do. There is an effortlessness about their vibe which is what makes it so hard to explain. No. 26 has hired genuinely nice people who smile even when they aren’t serving and you’ve dropped crumbs everywhere like the worst customer ever (shout out to the girl with really long strawberry-blonde ish hair).

Oh, and this is probably a *good* time to mention that the quality of their coffee is really something too. The mocha is a thick, a heavenly blend of chocolate and smooth roast. Full bodied. Decadent but delicate; it’s rich and frothy-creamy, but not in the sickly sort of way.  The coffee and hot chocolate here are like… equal strength in perfect balance, strong – but not bitter; this one is dark and truly real. Love! I go back for two.

TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London Coffee MochaWe arrived at about 11:30am, and it was pretty quiet. By 12pm everything deadened a little bit more, which seemed a little contradictory, but no complaints. Come 1:20pm though, the tables are filled and the place has become progressively more packed with chunky sandwiches and upbeat chit chat. By 2, everything’s back to being all mellow and chill.

 

No. 26 definitely appears to be a local hotspot that has made one heck of a sweet name for itself. Jessie and I had only wandered over to this side of Tottenham Court Road after the sister branch – 114, was too full for us to sit. Heading over to this end was the best (and tastiest) decision of the day.

TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London sandwich TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London odyessieThe staffs were also happy for us snap away – “we love photographs!” they say.

IMG_2067 decor TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London

TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road LondonWhen I had finally chosen something to nibble on, an equally indecisive business man and his friend walked in and joined the queue behind me. Then we made light conversation about how difficult it is to choose a bake here. Even the customers are nice, I thought to myself. In the end, they vouched for the butter-cream filled sponge cake…

TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London sponge cake buttercream vanilla…but I copied Jessie and opted for the chocolate loaf that seemed like it would do the Mocha justice, (it did).

TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London chocolate loaf cake bananaThe barista had dropped in a line about how the chocolate loaf was her firm favourite and promisingly “moist”. In the end it wasn’t all that moist, but it was still damn good. Though there were brownies too:

TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London brownies baked freshAlso, I didn’t think the frosting was generous enough for the frosting addict that = me…but Jessie said the sweetness of it was perfectly on point, although we both would have preferred a little more moisture. It’s the kind of cake you can indulge in without having to admit to; perfect for those morning ‘coffee-and-cake-kind-of-dates’; A light chocolate fix – a bread. Not a dessert. That’s why they call it loaf 😉

Did I mention the double chocolate chip cookies yet?

TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London double chocolate chip cookiesAnd judging from everyone else’s lunch, soups are popular and the salads are leafy and huge. I spy walnuts and squash.

TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London Walnut Salads TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London butternut squash saladNo 26: A gem, though not quite hidden; people know about it – and with good reason too. So go-go-go for your morning brews + complimentary Wi-Fi access that is scrawled out onto this chained canister… I like.

TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London free wifiFinally, the last reason why you should go here is because their cutlery is fit for princes/princesses (see the pics), and they basically serve their beverages with the prettiest spoons I’ve ever picked up (see the mocha above). The deal is so sealed.

TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London cake counter

TAP Coffee shop – No. 26 Rathbone Place Soho Tottenham Court Road London bike shop

No.26 – Rathbone PlaceW1T 1JD | Mon-Fri: 8am-7pm | Sat: 10am-6pm

  • http://www.charliedistracted.com Charlie

    I work literally around the corner from this place and I absolutely adore it! Their quiches and salads are so good for a quick lunch (you can take them away too), and if I’m feeling really indulgent, their hot chocolates are so thick and creamy it’s like drinking a melted bar of Dairy Milk. Their vintage teaspoons are so cute too!
    Cx
    charliedistracted.com / Bloglovin

  • http://mirandasnotebook.com/ Miranda | Miranda’s Notebook

    Loving all your cafe reviews! This looks another must try. I envy you – when I was studying at SOAS there was hardly anywhere nice to go for coffee and cake in the area. It’s good that things seem to have changed!

  • http://evaetsandra.com Eva

    I love this place! The good sandwichs, smiling baristes and excellents cookies, what else?
    It’s near from Rathbone hotel? I spent a weeken there 4 years ago!

  • http://meandmr.com Melanie

    Yum, that looks amazing!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

  • http://alycheeaday.blogspot.co.uk/ Ayesha

    I am a sucker for a good cafe, and that place looks amazing! Loving the different variety. You take nice photos :)

    Ayesha xxx

  • http://fit-radiance.com Louise@FitRadiance

    I’d never be able to decide what to have there! Everything looks amazing :) I agree, there’s nothing worse than feeling rushed and constantly pestered by staff in places. It totally ruins the mood!

  • http://www.foodieforce.co.uk Lucy

    i have become a bit of a coffee fiend it the last few months. This looks like a lovely coffee shop the cakes look yummy, even if they didn’t have enough icing. The salads look great too Lucy x

  • http://www.cearaskitchen.com Ceara @ Ceara’s Kitchen

    This cafe looks so warm, inviting and lovely! AND THOSE CAKES! Yum! Nothing beats the atmosphere of a welcoming cafe with such a lovely atmosphere and yummy hot drinks! Have to try this place next time I’m in town! Hope your week is off to a good start :)

  • http://www.tworaspberries.com Michele @ Two Raspberries

    Oh boyyy that chocolate loaf looks wayyy to good to be looking at right now! and the topping on it I mean seriously it looks almost like fudg-y chocolate good-ness on top WOW! Sooo wish I had a slice of that … or maybe two slices 😉 HA!

  • http://www.glutenfreehappytummy.com Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy

    i love a cozy coffee shop! those pastries look so good

  • http://lanasartstudio.blogspot.com Lana

    Wow! Love your pictures here, and all post makes me want to be there! I will add this place to my list of traveling must see!

  • http://skinnedcartree.com Corinne

    You take the best cafe photography I’ve seen on a blog, you sure know how to pick them.

    Those salads do look leafy, I’d happily have one of each, please!

    Corinne x

  • http://www.primaverakitchen.com Olivia – Primavera Kitchen

    I love this cafe! It looks so lovely!! I also love this cake! Yummy, yummy, yummy!!

  • http://www.lulabelloves.com Lucy

    Why have I not been here before!! It will definitely be on my list of places to go :) Thanks for sharing xx

    http://www.lulabelloves.com/blog

  • http://cookinglsl.com Mira

    Great and inspiring pictures Tash! Yeah, their coffee looks great! This cafe looks really nice, I wish I was there now :)

  • http://www.savorthebaking.com Chineka @ Savor The Baking

    That sandwich looks delicious and I love all of the photos!

  • http://lifemadesweeter.com Kelly – Life Made Sweeter

    I love these warm and moody photos! The cafe sounds wonderful! So glad the staff are friendly – which I agree can be hard to find and the food looks amazing!

  • http://thegastronomicbong.com/ Arpita@ The Gastronomic Bong

    Great post!! The cafe looks lovely.. I will definitely try to visit when in London… :)

  • http://www.pumpkinnspice.com Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice

    I love your pictures, Tash! Nothing is better than a cafe that serves delicious goodies and hot coffee. Those cakes look amazing, too!

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