The Gentlemen Baristas Holborn

Some lovely latte art (a rabbit) in my flat white from The Gentlemen Baristas Holborn, made with the Top Hat, a single-origin from Nicaragua.Once upon a time, one of my regular coffee haunts when visiting the British Museum was Wild & Wood on New Oxford Street. Sadly, the building was closed for redevelopment in 2015, necessitating a relocation to London Wall, where it’s still going strong. For a long time, the site stood empty, but now the redevelopment is finally complete, and, occupying roughly the same spot as Wild & Wood, is a new coffee shop.

Opening at the start of last month, the new coffee shop is none other than the ninth branch of south London coffee juggernauts, The Gentlemen Baristas. The coffee offering is very similar to the other Gentlemen Baristas locations, with the Deerstalker blend and a single-origin on espresso, pulled on a Faema E71 espresso machine, joined by a single-origin on batch-brew, with plans for a pour-over option via the Kalita Wave. All the coffee is roasted in-house and available in retail bags. If you’re hungry, there’s soup, sandwiches and a selection of cakes and pastries, all served in an interesting, idiosyncratic space.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • While wandering aimlessly along New Oxford Street on Monday evening, I came across...
  • ... this unexpected, but very welcome sight! It's the new Gentlemen Baristas in Holborn.
  • It goes quite a bit further off to the left. All the way to the end of the picture, in fact!
  • There's a handy sign too, high up on the wall...
  • ... although with windows like these, there's really no need for any additional signage!
  • Stepping inside, you are greeted by a large room with the counter at the back.
  • The walls to the right, meanwhile, are lined with merchandising...
  • ... while the only seating is a solitary, four-person window-bar to the right of the door.
  • However, there's more. To the left of the door is a long, thin, tall corridor.
  • Let's go and explore, shall we?
  • Half way along, at the front, you'll find another window-bar, a three-person one this time.
  • Keep going and there's more seating right at the end, where you'll find a sofa...
  • ... with a slightly larger one to the left.
  • The other sofa in more detail, with a narrow, third window behind it.
  • There's a fourth window right in the corner at the far end...
  • ... with the triangular space between the two sofas put to good use as a water station.
  • The view back towards the main space.
  • This is the neat Gentlemen Baristas logo that we could see through the window.
  • There are more (vintage) pictures on the walls.
  • These ones caught my eye...
  • ... although this one was my favourite: the old Royal Mail underground trains.
  • Obligatory light-fitting shot.
  • Obligatory hat.
  • Interesting reading material...
  • ... although I can see why the Gentlemen Baristas like it!
  • They are still finding their feet in Holborn, but this strikes me as an excellent idea.
  • To business. The busy counter is at the back of the main space...
  • ... with the menu above the retail shelves, wihch are above/behind the counter, and...
  • ... which continue along the right-hand wall, the usual mix of coffee and coffee-related kit.
  • The sandwiches were gone by the time I got there, but the cakes remained.
  • There's a decent selection of cookies, muffins and buns...
  • ... plus the usual assortment of pastries...
  • ... and where would we be without banana bread?
  • The choice of beans on espresso are clearly displayed...
  • ... while the filter option is (for now) restricted to batch brew...
  • ... with the choice of bean selected daily from the Gentlemen Barista range.
  • I was drawn to the espresso machine, my eye settling on the Top Hat.
  • My flat white, with an obligatory hat in the background (sadly not a top hat!).
  • Check out the awesome latte art...
  • ... which is worth another look. The expertly-steamed milk held the pattern...
  • ... all the way to the bottom of the cup, which is where I'll leave you.
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The Gentlemen Baristas’ predecessor, Wild & Wood, was renowned for its interesting space, a small nook off the main room, all beautifully kitted out in reclaimed wood. Arguably, The Gentlemen Baristas has an even more awkward space, only slightly larger than Wild & Wood, with an open, central space and a tall, narrow corridor offering more seating, ending in a cosy corner.

The front of The Gentlemen Baristas consists of a series of windows of ever-decreasing size. The largest, with a long, low bench in front of it, is to the right, looking into the main space, accessed by a recessed door on the left. This is a wonderful, open, high-ceilinged spot, almost cube-shaped, with the counter at the back, while the only seating is provided by a four-person window-bar to the door’s right.

There is, however, more seating to the left, a narrow corridor leading along the front of the store to the second window, this one with a three-person window-bar. Keep going a little further and you’ll arrived at the third and final space, which has two small, narrow windows and two sofa-like seats, a two-person one, its back against the front wall, and the second, seating one, at the end, against the left-hand wall, the two together forming a cosy little nook.

The Gentlemen Baristas is still finding its feet in Holborn, so the coffee offering is currently evolving. The Deerstalker blend (El Salvador, Brazil and Sumatra) was joined by Top Hat (La Bastilla, a Nicaraguan single-origin) during my visit, while if you want filter coffee, there’s a daily single-origin (drawn from The Gentlemen Baristas’ range) on batch brew, with plans to add a pour-over option using the Kalita Wave in the next week or two.

I was drawn to the Top Hat, ordering a flat white, which arrived with some awesome latte art, courtesy of Ernie, my barista, a regular UK Latte Art competitor. My flat white was as good as the latte art, smooth and sweet, the coffee and milk in perfect harmony, with the superbly-steamed milk holding the pattern to the bottom of the cup. Truly impressive!

1 NEW OXFORD STREET • HOLBORN • LONDON • WC1A 1NU
www.thegentlemenbaristas.com
Monday 07:00 – 17:30 Roaster Gentlemen Baristas (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 07:00 – 17:30 Seating Window Bars, Sofas; Bench (outside)
Wednesday 07:00 – 17:30 Food Soup, Sandwiches, Cake
Thursday 07:00 – 17:30 Service Order at Counter
Friday 07:00 – 17:30 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 10:00 – 17:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 10:00 – 16:00 Power Yes
Chain Local Visits 2nd December 2019

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2 thoughts on “The Gentlemen Baristas Holborn

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