Although I came to know Over Under Coffee through its relatively short-lived outpost in Ham Yard in Piccadilly, this is where it all started in 2017. The original Over Under is still going strong, serving coffee and brunch by day, plus cocktails in the evening, from this modest spot opposite Earl’s Court station. These days there are four Over Unders, with West Brompton just around the corner, Wandsworth Town on the other side of the river and the latest addition, Ladbroke Grove, proving to be the largest Over Under yet.
Mind you, that’s not too big an ask, given the size of the original (which itself is bigger than West Brompton and Wandsworth Town combined!). Despite its lack of size, there’s an impressive brunch menu, all cooked in the open kitchen behind the counter, while on Friday and Saturday evenings, Over Under transforms itself into a cosy cocktail bar.
November 2020: with the new COVID-19 restrictions coming into force, evening opening has been temporarily suspended, although you may still be able to order cocktails on-line for delivery.
May 2021: Over Under Coffee is back to its normal service, following the relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions in England to allow dining in.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Although its address is Earl’s Court Road, Over Under Coffee is around the corner on the quieter Hogarth Road. The façade cuts quite a dash though, with a distinctive two-tone colour scheme that sees the left side painted black, while the right is pink, the dividing line running right down the middle of the door. These days, there’s an outside seating terrace just to the left, occupying a pair of on-street parking bays, which, since COVID-19, have been repurposed, waist-high planters separating four small round tables from the traffic.
The central door has a window either side, the left-hand one doubling as a takeout window. Inside, the layout is simple, with probably less space given over to seating than there is outside on the terrace! Although much smaller (and without a basement), something about it instantly reminded me of Soho Grind.
Over Under is maybe twice as deep as it is wide, the counter occupying the left-hand side and the seating on the right, with the exception of a solitary bar stool at the back by the coat hooks. A padded bench runs the length of the right-hand wall, lined by four two-person tables, each with a low stool on the opposite side. Two similar stools sit under a window-bar on the right, but that’s it as far as seating goes. Note that on Friday and Saturday evenings (from 17:00 until 21:00), the tables are cleared away and the bench flips up, transforming Over Under into a speakeasy-like cocktail bar, serving its signature espresso martinis, along with a range of other cocktails and bar snacks.
Whether you’re sitting inside or out, order at the counter and the staff will bring your coffee to you. For takeaway, while you can order inside, your coffee will appear at the takeaway window to the left of the door. Having just eaten at Carbon Kopi, I passed on the otherwise very tempting brunch menu. Instead, I had an espresso, made with the same house espresso that I’d started my day with when I had a flat white around the corner at Over Under West Brompton. Roasted by Assembly, it comes from a range of farms in the Risaralda region of Colombia and is available on both espresso and batch brew filter.
As an espresso, it was a well-rounded, well-balanced shot, full of classic chocolate and nut notes. I was sufficiently impressed that I bought a bag to take home, along with another of Over Under’s decaf. Also from Assembly, this is the El Carmen, another Colombian coffee, decaffeinated using the Sugar Cane EA method. I’ve yet to break it open, but the espresso has been going really well through my Sage Barista Express.
|181A EARLS COURT ROAD • LONDON • SW5 9RD
|+44 (0) 20 3807 8019
|07:00 – 15:00
|Assembly (espresso + batch brew)
|07:00 – 15:00
|Tables, Window-bar; Tables (outside)
|07:00 – 15:00
|Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
|07:00 – 15:00
|Order at Counter
|07:00 – 21:00
|Card Only (COVID-19)
|08:00 – 21:00
|08:00 – 15:00
|20th October 2020
Liked this Coffee Spot? Then check out the rest of London’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to London.
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