The Camera Café is the ideal place to come for an hour or two with your laptop, particularly on a rainy day. Located just down the street from the British Museum, it’s one of a number of places I use when I need a break from the cultural overload that is the British Museum. Not that the Camera Café isn’t cultured and, if you haven’t got a laptop, you don’t need to worry, since there are a couple of bookshelves stacked with interesting titles to help pass the time.
The coffee is good without being outstanding, but the clincher for me is the hot chocolate fudge cake. It’s also worth popping in at lunchtime for a plate of noodles or a toasted sandwich (although I’ve not tried the sandwiches). Another factor in its favour is the relatively long opening hours. When everyone else is shutting up shop at about five o’clock, the Camera Café is open until seven.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
I must confess to having a soft spot for the Camera Café, one of a number of excellent places around the British Museum which compete for my trade. I’ve been going here for a couple of years now and while the coffee is better elsewhere, nothing quite beats the Camera Café as a place to spend an hour or two with the laptop, particularly on a rainy day.
The Camera Café and its owner, Adrian Tang, really is laptop friendly. Free wifi that you just have to connect to and multiple power outlets make this a great place to sit and surf, or work on the latest chapter of your novel. Or, indeed, to write the latest instalment of your blog.
It’s located at the back of a camera shop (hence the name) and, for me, this always makes a visit a slightly dangerous experience for my wallet. There’s a couple of tables outside on the pavement, while the café itself has a few tables around the bar at the back and a couple of cosy rooms, one immediately behind the bar and one down in the basement. Each has a handful of tables and chairs, so it is easy for the café to get quite full, although I’ve never failed to get a seat. During my latest visit, on a hot, humid summer afternoon, I thought that these rooms might get uncomfortably hot, but to my surprise they were pleasantly cool and a welcome escape from the heat.
Having said that you can get better coffee elsewhere, I should say that there’s nothing wrong with the Camera Café’s coffee. You get to choose from the usual range of espresso-based drinks and there is a wide selection of herbal teas on offer. The espresso is generous in size, smooth and not at all bitter, but for me a little weak. It’s personal taste, but I would have preferred it slightly shorter and with more body.
However, the real draw for me is the hot chocolate fudge cake. I have one of these practically every time I come here and it has yet to disappoint me, except perhaps for the impact on my waistline! Served warm with cream, it is rich and very chocolaty, the perfect pick-me-up, particularly on those rainy days where I seem to find myself gravitating to the cosy rooms at the back of the Camera Café. It also does a very nice line in noodles, so I sometimes find myself heading there for lunch, and a range of toasted sandwiches which I’ve never tried (having always gone for the noodles). Finally, if the hot chocolate fudge cake doesn’t appeal, there’s always the carrot cake and a variety of cookies.
|44 MUSEUM STREET • BLOOMSBURY • LONDON • WC1A 1LY|
|www.cameracafe.co.uk||+44 (0) 7887 930826|
|Monday||11:00 – 19:00||Seating||Tables|
|Tuesday||11:00 – 19:00||Food||Cake, Sandwiches, Lunches|
|Wednesday||11:00 – 19:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Thursday||11:00 – 19:00||Cards||Cash only|
|Friday||11:00 – 19:00||Wifi||Free|
|Saturday||12:00 – 19:00||Power||Extensive|
|Chain||NO||Visits||18th August 2012|
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