The Pilgrm is a small, boutique hotel in an old townhouse on London Street, almost directly opposite the front of Paddington station. In itself, it makes for quite an attractive hotel, but the icing on the cake is that in August last year, Workshop took over the coffee operation, installing itself behind the counter in the simple, well-appointed lobby, which is effectively a small (and beautiful) coffee shop. The coffee offering is equally simple, well-appointed and beautiful, with a concise espresso menu (with decaf getting equal billing with a single-origin option) backed up with another single-origin on batch-brew, both changing roughly once a week.
If coffee’s not your thing, there’s a small selection of tea and Pump Street hot chocolate, while if you’re hungry, Workshop has a small selection of cake, but nothing else. That said, The Pilgrm has a first-floor public lounge and terrace which serves a full brunch menu until 3pm each day, with snacks served thereafter. You can take your coffee up upstairs if you like, although it’s not very clear if you just wander in off the street. Alternatively, just take a seat upstairs and order your coffee there, which is just what I did at the weekend.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
I’m back in the Paddington area for work this week, making my what seems to be annual visit. Annoyingly, I just missed out when I was working here this time last year, Workshop taking over the coffee operation at the The Pilgrm a couple of months after my stay. Indeed, had I got my act together, I might have stayed at the hotel this time around, but as it was, I ended up literally across the road, passing The Pilgrm each day on my way to/from the office, so naturally I ended up there quite a bit. I popped in to say hello on the Sunday when I arrived, then made a point of calling in for a flat white to go on my way either to or from the office most days thereafter.
The Pilgrm occupies an old townhouse on the eastern side of London Street. There’s a modest entrance at street level, with a recessed door on the left, accessed via a short flight of steps, while on the right, there are three tall windows. This is sandwiched between a pub (to the left) and a restaurant (to the right), while the hotel proper rises up the full four floors above, stretching the full width of all three businesses.
Heading up the steps you enter an absolutely beautiful space, dominated by a magnificent 300 year-old staircase ahead of you to your right. Directly ahead, a wide passageway leads down to the lifts at the back, which give access to the hotel rooms. There is a small amount of seating down here, with three shelf-like tables projecting from the exposed brick of the left-hand wall, each with two small stools which are also attached to the wall.
Meanwhile off to the right, past to the stairs, is where you would traditionally expect to find hotel reception. However, like several other modern hotels, The Pilgrm has done away with the traditional reception desk: instead, you’ll find an iPad-equipped member of staff on hand to check you in, usually seated at one of the tables on the left.
Instead the space to the right has been given over to the coffee shop, with a lovely wooden counter tucked away beneath/to the side of the stairs, where you order, pay for and collect your coffee. If you don’t fancy one of the tables on the left, you can either take your coffee upstairs or you can sit in the windows at the front, where a long, padded L-shaped bench runs the full width of the windows before tucking around by the door. There are three coffee tables here, along with six low stools, but that’s it for seating.
The coffee is all roasted in-house at Workshop’s Bethnal Green roastery, with a single-origin on espresso, where it’s joined by a decaf, and another on batch brew (not Clever Dripper, which is what the menu says). The two single-origins change roughly once a week, the new coffees being whatever the roastery sends through.
On the Sunday, I tried an espresso, made with the Cerro de Jesus from Nicaragua. This was a lovely coffee, expertly pulled by my barista, Jairo, well balanced with a touch of acidity. Thereafter I called in most mornings on my way to the office, enjoying a series of excellent flat whites in my HuskeeCup, the Cerro de Jesus going just as well in milk as it had on its own.
I wasn’t able to check out the lounge and terrace during the week, but popped back on Friday afternoon, when there was a new espresso on, a Colombian Los Naranjos. I also had it in a flat white on Saturday morning when I returned for breakfast, which you can read all about in my feature, Upstairs at the Pilgrm.
December 2019: Workshop Coffee at The Pilgrm has won the 2019 Best Takeaway Coffee Award.
|25 LONDON STREET • PADDINGTON • LONDON • W2 1HH|
|Monday||07:30 – 17:00||Roaster||Workshop (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:30 – 17:00||Seating||Sofa Bench, Tables; Tables (Upstairs)|
|Wednesday||07:30 – 17:00||Food||Cake; Breakfast, Lunch (Upstairs)|
|Thursday||07:30 – 17:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:30 – 17:00||Cards||Yes (no cash)|
|Saturday||08:00 – 18:00||Wifi||Free (with registration)|
|Sunday||08:00 – 18:00||Power||Yes|
|Chain||Local||Visits||7th – 10th July 2019|
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