Today’s Coffee Spot is part Coffee Spot Update, part regular Coffee Spot. You may recall that London Square, a large office complex on Guildford’s London Road, opposite London Road Station and Guildford High School, once housed the Surrey Hills Coffee Cabin. Sadly, COVID-19 put paid to that and, with office workers slow to return, the coffee cabin, a lovely container-style cabin in the car park, never re-opened.
Well, I say never, but that changed this June after a chance conversation in Canopy Coffee with a customer whose company had just moved into London Square. This led to Jackie, Canopy’s new owner, taking over the lease on the empty coffee cabin and Canopy Coffee, London Square was born!
The layout’s very similar to how Surrey Hills had it (hence the update part), although there’s no longer any indoor seating, just a solitary four-person table under the shade of a convenient tree. The offering is very similar to Canopy Coffee on Haydon Place, with a standard espresso-based menu using the bespoke house-blend from Skylark Coffee, along with decaf and a regularly-rotating single-origin on batch-brew filter. There’s the same range of toasties too, although the cakes are pre-packaged, with a lot more grab-and-go options.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
There’s not much to Canopy Coffee at London Square, although small is beautiful, particularly in this case. Located in the car park, its back to the main entrance on Cross Lanes, the front of the container-style cabin faces the offices, with a long, tree-lined path running from Canopy to the office at the far end of the car park. Although primarily for the benefit of the occupants of the surrounding offices, Canopy is open to the public, so you’re welcome to come along. It’s a great spot for quality coffee if you live in the area, or if you’re popping by on your way to/from the school or station.
The cabin (container? pod?) is a cosy little thing, split into two halves, with the counter/kitchen on the left and an indoor standing/ordering area on the right, accessible via a handy ramp. This takes you into a roughly square area, open at the front, with the counter on the left, where you’ll find a range of cakes and other treats to tempt you. The coffee menu is on the wall above you, while there are more treats on the back wall, half of which is occupied by a large, open chiller cabinet with drinks and pre-prepared sandwiches, scotch eggs and sausage rolls. Alternatively, if you’re prepared to wait, you can order one of the three toasties (one of which is vegan and another vegetarian) or a bacon roll, with the menu on the back wall to the left of the chiller cabinet. Finally, against the right-hand wall, there’s a selection of coffee kit, with more soft drinks in crates below.
Although there’s the counter inside, you can order outside as well, using the large hatch to the left of the door, which opens directly onto the kitchen area. This is particularly useful if you’re just after coffee or one of the toasties/rolls. There are copies of the menus here, while the espresso machine (I believe that it’s the same one that Surrey Hills used) is at the back, so you can watch your coffee extracting. Talking of which, you’ll find the familiar Canopy house-blend from Skylark Coffee on espresso, along with decaf, while if you really are in a hurry, there’s a weekly single-origin (the Mustefa Abba, a naturally-processed coffee from Ethiopia, during my visit) on batch brew.
Although primarily catering to takeaway trade (Canopy only has disposable cups, so don’t forget to bring your own), there is a solitary four-person table on the left, opposite the hatch, which is a very pleasant place to sit and watch the world go by while you sip your coffee. This is what I did when I popped by on Friday morning to start my day with a flat white in my HuskeeCup. Smooth and sweet, it was exactly what I’ve come to expect from Canopy. Having tried the vegan flat bread the last time I went to Canopy, I paired my flat white with the double cheese toastie, which was sublime, the bread crisply toasted and the cheese oozing out from the sides. If I was still doing the Best Cheese Toastie Award, this would be the front-runner!
|LONDON SQUARE • CROSS LANES • GUILDFORD • GU1 1UN|
|Monday||08:00 – 15:00||Roaster||Skylark Coffee (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 15:00||Seating||Table (outside)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 15:00||Food||Sandwiches, Soup, Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 15:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 14:00||Cards||Cards + Cash|
|Chain||Local||Visits||26th August 2022|
Liked this? Then take a look at the rest of Guildford’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Guildford.
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