Four Corners Update/1st Birthday

Four Corners Award Plaque from the 2014 London Coffee Stop Awards. Four Corners won the award for London's Coolest Coffee Shop on Social Media.So, last Wednesday (a week ago today), I popped along to Four Corners on London’s Lower Marsh, ostensibly to celebrate its first birthday, which, naturally enough, was the day before. Let’s face it, celebrating first birthdays is commonplace, but who celebrates first and one day birthdays, eh? No-one, that’s who, and it’s about time that changed!

Being serious for a moment, while it was in my mind that Four Corners was one and one day old, the real reason for my visit was to catch up with my friend and fellow coffee-blogger, Kate (aka A Southern Belle in London) before she disappeared to the Americas for the summer. Four Corners was a convenient place to meet and I was keen to see what had changed since my first visit there last summer.

As it turned out, the answer was not a lot, Four Corners being much as I remember it from August last year. So much for this being an update! In fact, the major change I noticed was the absence of the roadworks directly out front, which plagued For Corners for the first few months of its life. Other than that, it was the same wonderful place!

You can see what I found after the gallery.

  • Four Corners on London's Lower Marsh: finally, a decent exterior shot!
  • The famous Four Corners A-boards, never backwards in coming forwards.
  • The view from just inside the door.
  • The famous lego table...
  • ... and here, seen from above.
  • The bar at the end of the counter. I'd not noticed the neat coat hooks before.
  • A very busy and informative door.
  • Fair enough!
  • A thoroughly deserved award!
  • The counter, laden with goodies for lunch!
  • The cakes have somewhat been pushed to one side. Still looking tasty though!
  • There's even more loose-leaf tea these days!
  • My latte checks out the bar-stools...
  • ... while my decaf cappuccino revels in its artwork.
  • Kate's iced latte came in the cutest milk bottle...
  • ... while I finally got to try one of the pastries!
Four Corners on London's Lower Marsh: finally, a decent exterior shot!1 The famous Four Corners A-boards, never backwards in coming forwards.2 The view from just inside the door.3 The famous lego table...4 ... and here, seen from above.5 The bar at the end of the counter. I'd not noticed the neat coat hooks before.6 A very busy and informative door.7 Fair enough!8 A thoroughly deserved award!9 The counter, laden with goodies for lunch!10 The cakes have somewhat been pushed to one side. Still looking tasty though!11 There's even more loose-leaf tea these days!12 My latte checks out the bar-stools...13 ... while my decaf cappuccino revels in its artwork.14 Kate's iced latte came in the cutest milk bottle...15 ... while I finally got to try one of the pastries!16
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Ironically, the last time I was in Four Corners, I was also meeting Kate: that was 11 months ago, when I made my (until now one-and-only) visit to write it up for the Coffee Spot. This neatly sums up a dilemma that has come with writing the Coffee Spot. I’ve touched upon this before, but the essence is this; there is always the pressure to try somewhere new, particularly when travelling up to London, where more coffee shops open each week than I can possibly cover.

As a consequence, I don’t get the time to visit old favourites, such as Four Corners. And make no mistake, even though I haven’t been there for 11 months, Four Corners is still one of my top Coffee Spots in London. There’s a special atmosphere about the place, a friendliness combined with an off-the-wall quirkiness, which really appeals to me. I was so pleased when Four Corners won the inaugural Coffee Stop Award for “Best Use of Social Media”; it was thoroughly well-deserved.

It’s not just Four Corners though; one of my all-time London favourites is White Mulberries, who won the big one, “Best Coffee Shop in London”. Since visiting in October, when I first wrote about it, I’ve been back exactly once, and that was only to drop off some Coffee Spot Calendars! C’est la vie…

Anyway, enough of my complaining. What did I actually find when I got back to Four Corners? Well, as I’ve said, it hasn’t actually changed much. There’s still the same warm welcome and off-the-wall humour and the layout’s basically unchanged. The cake and pastry selection remain excellent, while the lunch options have definitely expanded. The opening hours have also been extended into the evening.

I managed to work my way through more of the coffee menu, this time trying a latte and following that up with a decaf cappuccino just for variety, both of which were excellent (with beans from London’s Ozone). Kate had an iced latte, which came, to her great delight, in a little milk bottle, while I finally got to eat one of the famed pastries from nearby Balthazar Bakery.

The other difference was that there seemed to be even more loose-leaf teas from Yumchaa. It was one of the things I remember from my first visit, when the owner, Gary, explained that he wasn’t doing pour-over filter coffee, instead using the space to do proper tea and to do it well. I was impressed by this commitment to coffee’s often-overlooked counterpart and am pleased to see that the tea side of the business continues to thrive!

Don’t forget the original Four Corners Coffee Spot, which includes the complete write-up and an updated gallery.

12 LOWER MARSH • LONDON • SE1 7RJ
www.four-corners-cafe.com +44 (0)208 617 9591
Monday 07:30 – 18:30 Seating Tables, Bar
Tuesday 07:30 – 18:30 Food Lunch, Sandwiches, Cake
Wednesday 07:30 – 18:30 Service Order at Counter
Thursday 07:30 – 19:30 Cards Visa, Mastercard
Friday 07:30 – 19:30 Wifi Free (with code)
Saturday 10:00 – 17:00 Power Limited
Sunday CLOSED Mobile 3G, Voice
Chain No Visits Original: 16th August 2013
Update: 16th July 2014

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