Knockbox Coffee is one of those legends of London’s speciality coffee scene that I’d assumed had been around forever. It was therefore a bit of a surprise when I finally called in one quiet Bank Holiday Monday in May to discover that it had only been around since 2014, although in today’s fast-moving industry, that makes it pretty venerable.
Located at the southern end of Lamb’s Conduit Street in Bloomsbury, there’s not much to Knockbox, a simple, square space offering limited seating around three of the four walls, while two picnic tables and a bench provide outside seating. The coffee is from local roasters, Workshop, with its seasonal single-origin espresso forming the bedrock of the simple coffee menu. This is joined by a wide array of teas and smoothies, plus an equally wide selection of cakes and toasties, which are joined (at weekends only, I believe) by a two-item brunch menu.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Knockbox Coffee is on the left-hand side of Lamb’s Conduit Street, on the corner with Dombey Street, just down from relative newcomer, Redemption Coffee, which is on the opposite side, on the corner with Long Yard. A bright, open space, with two large, arched windows along the left-hand side (Dombey Street), while there’s another on Lamb’s Conduit Street itself. The door, meanwhile, is on the right-hand side.
There’s as much seating outside as in, starting with a long, thin picnic-style table with a pair of benches in front of the window on Lamb’s Conduit Street, sheltering under a large, yellow awning. This is joined by a second picnic table on the opposite side of the broad pavement, along with a solitary bench.
Inside, there’s a simple, square layout, with the counter at the back. Directly ahead of you as you enter, a narrow bar with three high, wooden stools runs along the right-hand wall under some retail shelves. Meanwhile, a three-person window-bar with low, wooden stools occupies the window to the left of the door, with another window-bar, this time with four low stools, in the first of two windows down the left-hand side. The counter, which runs the full width of Knockbox at the back, occupies the second window.
You order at the till in the middle of the counter, with the espresso machine, a two-group La Marzocco Linea and its grinder, off to the right. If you’re looking for the menus, they’re high up on the wall behind the counter. The rest of the counter is occupied by a large display case for the cakes and toasties, although the toaster itself is off to the left in the window.
I decided to keep it simple, having an espresso, Workshop’s El Jardín, a single-origin Colombian. This was surprisingly acidic, with a front-of-the-mouth taste that I really enjoyed. I paired this with the last of the cheese and tomato toasties, which was excellent, made with crunchy St John’s sourdough bread and a generous supply of cheese, which had melted out of the sides. Like Knockbox itself, simple and yet perfect.
|29 LAMB’S CONDUIT STREET • HOLBORN • LONDON • WC1N 3NG|
|www.facebook.com/knockboxofficial||+44 (0) 20 3489 7325|
|Monday||07:30 – 17:30||Roaster||Workshop (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||07:30 – 17:30||Seating||Window-bars, Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:30 – 17:30||Food||Toasties, Brunch, Cake|
|Thursday||07:30 – 17:30||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:30 – 17:30||Cards||Amex, Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||07:30 – 17:30||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||07:30 – 17:30||Power||Yes|
|Chain||No||Visits||27th May 2019|
For other perspectives on Knockbox, try this from Cosy Coffee Shops, who visited shortly after Knockbox opened, while here’s the view from the Best Coffee App. Finally, take a look at what Workshop have to say about Knockbox.
If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, then take a look at the rest of London’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to London.
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