CanDo Coffee, Paddington

An A-board showing two stick figures talking. The first asks "So where do the profits go?" and the second answers "All our profits are spent on training and giving jobs to people that need it!". Underneath it says "100% non-profit coffee project using Monmouth espresso".I first discovered CanDo Coffee in 2014, when it popped up on a canal boat moored outside the rear entrance to London’s Paddington Station. However, that was a short-lived appearance and I heard no more about CanDo Coffee until word reached me that it had returned with a more permanent-looking pitch a little further down the canal in the direction of Paddington Basin.

I popped back to my old haunts a couple of weeks ago to check out old favourite Beany Green and also to track down the new CanDo Coffee. Tucked away on the tow path, it’s a delightful spot with a couple of outside tables, serving excellent Monmouth espresso, with a few treats thrown in for good measure. There’s also a motorised trike on the other side of the canal, but it’s only open from 07:30 – 11:30 on weekdays and I was too late to catch it.

June 2017: CanDo Coffee now uses Electric Coffee Company (and has done for some time, I’ve just been slow on the uptake).

June 2018: The second pitch has migrated eastward to Merchant Square, moprhing into a trailer along the way. It’s also now open until 3 o’clock in the afternoon. You can see what I made of it when I visited in June.

July 2018: Matt, who was running CanDo when I visited in 2016, now has his own set-up in the City, the Lazy Coffee Cart.

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Wild & Wood, London Wall

A lovely, creamy piccolo in a classic espresso cup, seen from above on an over-sized floral saucer.Wild & Wood is something of a pioneer in London’s speciality coffee scene. When it opened in 2008, the number speciality coffee shops in London could still be counted just using your fingers and toes. It’s also one of the first Coffee Spots I ever wrote about, Wild & Wood having been a regular haunt of mine in the years before I started the Coffee Spot. I also revisited it in April last year.

For seven years, Wild & Wood went about its business in its own uncompromising way from a small shop on New Oxford Street. Then, earlier this year, the building was cleared for redevelopment and Wild & Wood was left homeless, much to the consternation of its many fans and regular customers.

However, this particular story has a happy ending as, at the end of August, Wild & Wood reappeared on London Wall. Those who fear that the move will have ruined Wild & Wood needn’t worry: owners Bozena and Kit have pretty much transplanted Wild & Wood, keeping the same atmosphere and attitude that made it so popular.

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Wild & Wood Coffee: Update

Wild & Wood: genius use of space and an lovely, all wooden interiorSadly, the weekend hasn’t started early: it’s just a Saturday Supplement on a Wednesday… By way of explanation, I have such a backlog of Saturday Spots, plus a few updates (like this one) and my reports from the London Coffee Festival, that I’m running short of Saturdays! So, for the next few weeks, Wednesday is the new Saturday as I attempt to catch up…

Wild & Wood Coffee is one of the first places I covered for the Coffee Spot, a favourite haunt of mine from my pre-Coffee Spot days. Back then, as a regular visitor to the British Museum, I would often break my day with a trip to Wild & Wood for afternoon coffee and cake.

These days, when I head up to London, I’m usually on the prowl for new Coffee Spots and I don’t get much time to visit the British Museum. Indeed, I don’t get a lot of time to check out my favourite Coffee Spots, old or new. So, when I visited the British Museum with a friend a couple of weeks ago and she suggested that we went somewhere nearby for lunch, I jumped at the chance to re-visit Wild & Wood.

October 2015: Wild & Wood closed at the start of July this year as the whole block that Wild & Wood was in is being redeveloped. The good news is that it re-opened at the end of August in a new location on London Wall! See what I found when I went to visit.

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Wild & Wood Coffee

There are places where I prefer the coffee. There are certainly places with more comfortable seating for someone of my height (and with more seating in general). And there are a host of other things I could go on about, but the fact remains that of the handful of cafés in the vicinity of the British Museum that I regularly visit, I find myself drawn back to Wild & Wood far more frequently than one might imagine.

There is something about Wild & Wood that I find very attractive, but I’m not sure I can easily put my finger on what it is. Partly it is the attitude of the place, a no nonsense, uncompromising adherence to its principles. Partly it is the style, which has been well thought out; the use of wood throughout is very appealing, as well as being in keeping with the name.

In the end, more than most of my favourite places, it comes down to a matter of taste. Give Wild & Wood a go and see what you think.

October 2015: Wild & Wood closed at the start of July this year as the whole block that Wild & Wood was in is being redeveloped. The good news is that it re-opened at the end of August in a new location on London Wall! See what I found when I went to visit.

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