KuPP

The KuPP logo in red neon.KuPP is the latest addition to the area around Paddington Station, joining the likes of Beany Green in bringing speciality coffee to this part of London. KuPP, which opened at the end of March, is half-way down Paddington Basin, on the opposite side from Saint Mary’s hospital. All things to all people, KuPP is a Scandinavian-inspired bar, restaurant and coffee shop. Obviously, I’ll be focusing on the coffee shop, but having lunched there, I can also pass comment on the food. As to the bar, I shall leave that to those more qualified than me to judge. It looks impressive though!

KuPP occupies what, in coffee shop terms, is an enormous space. Think Caravan, King’s Cross size, but with a more interesting layout. The bulk of KuPP is devoted to a large dining area, with fully-retractable windows that join it up to the outside seating along the quayside. Next to that, there’s a well-stocked bar and, at the far end, a (comparatively) small but beautifully-appointed coffee shop.

The coffee’s a bespoke blend, roasted by Bristol’s Extract Coffee Roasters. There’s a standard espresso-based menu, a second option on bulk-brew filter, plus tea from Canton Tea Co and Kokoa Collection’s hot chocolate.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • KuPP, with its long row of outside seats, as seen as you approach from Paddington.
  • If the weather's nice, the windows are opened, effectively creating a big, open space.
  • The last two shots were at lunchtime; it's less busy first thing in the morning!
  • Coming the other way, from Edgwear Road, you get to the entrance first.
  • Stepping inside, the coffee shop is immediately to your right...
  • ... while across from you is the bar, with the restaurant to your left. Nice hexagons!
  • The coffee shop is lovely, with its high ceilings and bare-brick walls.
  • The counter's at the far end, with the weird, triangular bit beyond. Lets in lots of light though.
  • The weird, triangular bit. With tree trunks!
  • In case you forgot you were in the coffee shop part of KuPP...
  • The bar on the far wall continues around the corner...
  • ... creating this lovely little nook.
  • However, I always seem to end up sitting here...
  • A view of the bar from the coffee shop...
  • ... and the bar in more detail. I like the coat hooks.
  • There are a few high tables opposite the bar, and then comes the restaurant.
  • You almost have to double back on yourself though. That's how far the door is set back.
  • The open-plan kitchen is at the back; you can sit here and watch the cooking if you like.
  • Alternatively, how about these communal tables? Very Scandinavian.
  • The restaurant stretches out ahead of you, windows to the left, kitchen to the right.
  • This row of bench seats runs along next to the open-plan kitchen.
  • There's more seating on the right beyond the kitchen.
  • A view of the far end of the restaurant. It's very bright down here.
  • There's this long row of bench seats on the back wall beyond the kitchen.
  • Or there's coffee-table style seating by the windows...
  • ... and standalone tables like this one in the far corner.
  • The seating at the far end of KuPP, with more communal tables.
  • One of the communal tables in more detail.
  • The view from the far end, looking back towards the door.
  • KuPP is light-fitting heaven!
  • There are some really interesting light-fittings. One hesitates to call them shades!
  • I don't know why, but these remind me of spiders...
  • These beauties hang over the bar...
  • ... and here in more detail.
  • These hang in the coffee shop.
  • Last set.
  • Back in the coffee shop, the menu is quite clever...
  • Coffee!
  • And award-winning hot chocolate.
  • Alternatively, if you want something from the bar...
  • The well-stocked pastry shelves first thing in the morning...
  • ... which gives way to sandwiches at lunchtime.
  • KuPP takes its coffee-making seriously...
  • ... with bulk-brew (and tea) in the corner.
  • I put Lizzy the Barista to work, here making a flat white in my Keep Cup.
  • Nice cup! An espresso from the launch party...
  • ... along with a smaple of the bulk-brew filter. Apologies for the blurry picture!
  • I also tried some Kokoa Collection hot chocolate.
  • I've tried the lunch menu: delicious wild mushrooms, wilted spinach & poached egg on toast.
  • An accompanying flat white: I really like the glass cups.
  • I've started taking KeepCup to KuPP for a morning flat white. No-one tell Beany Green!
  • Some lovely latte-art from Lizzy...
  • ... with the pattern holding to the bottom of the cup, always a sign of well-steamed milk.
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Coming from Paddington, cross the canal and turn right towards Edgware Road. The first sign you’ll have of KuPP is the long row of tables outside on the canal-side. Coming the other way, from Edgware Road towards Paddington, the first you’ll know about it is when you stumble upon the entrance.

It’s hard to describe KuPP’s layout. It occupies the front of a wedge-shaped building which wouldn’t be so bad, except that it looks like someone’s taken a chunk out of it, so that the door is set back from the canal. To the left, as you go in, it has a fairly standard, rectangular floor-plan, but to the right, there’s a sort of triangular bit that’s been left hanging, tapering to a narrow point, intruding onto the canal side. The adjoining bit, where you come in, is empty, save for the large, well-stocked bar on the opposite wall.

Starting with the restaurant, turn left as you come in, almost doubling back on yourself, past four high, round tables. It then opens out to present a multitude of seating options, including window seats, square tables, round tables, long communal tables, high communal tables and, if you like watching people cooking, a row of bar chairs against a counter where you can gaze into the open-plan kitchen (shades of Caravan, King’s Cross). You can also sit outside and, naturally enough, it’s full table service. If you’re going at lunchtime, get there early though. As big as it is, on my last two times visits, every seat’s been taken, although you can always sit in the coffee shop and have an open sandwich.

Talking of which, it’s a much more intimate affair on your right as you enter. A narrow bar, complete with bar stools, runs along the opposite wall, with the counter at the far end. The only other seating is a six-person table with high bar chairs immediately to your right. I always seem to end up here, partly because of its great views of the counter. Alternatively, you can sit in the main restaurant and have your coffee brought to you.

However, I really like it in here; it always seems much calmer and you can chat with the baristas. The décor’s to my taste too, with bare-brick walls, clad in grey for the bottom metre or so, lined with Ikea-like bookshelves full of coffee and coffee-related kit. The counter’s a beautiful green-tiled affair with a marble top. It’s also remarkably uncluttered since the coffee machine and grinders are up against the wall behind the counter.

I attended KuPP’s launch party in March, when I got chatting to one of the baristas, Lizzy. Coffee can often be overlooked in a big operation like this, even when a lot of money’s been lavished on equipment (as it has in KuPP). However, KuPP’s backed this up with excellent staff who, like Lizzy, really care about the coffee. I’ve been through the full range, including an espresso, a sample of the bulk brew (as good as many hand-poured filters) and the excellent Kokoa Collection hot chocolate. I’ve also been back for several takeaway flat whites of a morning. The bespoke blend from Extract is slightly darker than I’m used to, giving the coffee a real kick first thing in the morning.

UNIT 53 • 5 MERCHANT SQUARE • LONDON • W2 1AS
www.kupp.co +44 (0) 20 7262 8618
Monday 07:00 – 23:30 Roaster Extract (espresso + bulk brew)
Tuesday 07:00 – 23:30 Seating Tables, Bar
Wednesday 07:00 – 23:30 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Cake
Thursday 07:00 – 23:30 Service Table (Order at Counter for coffee shop)
Friday 07:00 – 00:00 Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 10:00 – 00:00 Wifi Free
Sunday 10:00 – 10:30 Power Yes
Chain No Visits 26th March, 10th April 2015

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