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.
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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