The original Mother’s Milk was on Little Portland Street, one of a growing number of speciality coffee shops in Fitzrovia, an area once the sole preserve of Aussie legends, Kaffeine. Mother’s Milk joined the likes of Attendant and since opening, Workshop, Curators Coffee Gallery and several others have moved in. But now Mother’s Milk has moved… all the way to Little Portland Street! That’s right, Mother’s Milk has upped sticks and headed east, all the way across Great Portland Street, shifting from No 12 to the far more excitingly-named No 22-23.
Many of the Mother’s Milk hallmarks remain from the original: Will and James are still behind the counter, while the delightful Victoria Arduino lever espresso machine is still on it, the coffee’s still from Munich’s JB Kaffee and it’s still frustratingly hard to find unless you know where it is!
The original Mother’s Milk at least had windows onto the street, but was confusingly called Rosalind’s Kitchen (which is why I walked past three times one my first visit). The new premises are a great improvement, but are in the back of a communications agency called Exposure, the only real clue to Mother’s Milk being the A-board outside.
January 2016: Bad news. Mother’s Milk has announced its closure with immediate effect.
The first thing you need to know about Mother’s Milk is that it’s called Rosalind’s Kitchen. No, not really, but that’s what’s on the window of the tiny store on Little Portland Street, which is how I managed to walk past it three times without noticing even though I was looking for it! In fairness, there’s usually a bench and A-board outside, but it was raining when I went by and they’d just been brought inside.
When you do track it down, you’ll find a delightful little coffee shop with just enough room for the counter, an espresso machine and a few stools. I got told off on twitter for suggesting that it might be crowded with two customers, but I was only exaggerating ever so slightly. Yes, it really is that small.
The brain-child of baristas Will and James, the focus is entirely on coffee: no cake, food, tea or hot chocolate, just coffee. Despite its size, Mother’s Milk still manages to offer the usual espresso-range and filter coffee made via the Aeropress. The other thing that makes it stand out is the coffee itself: Mother’s Milk is London’s only permanent outlet for JB Kaffee, a micro-roaster from Munich.
September 29, 2015: This was the last day for Mother’s Milk’s in its old location. It moved a massive 80m along the street to 22-23 Little Portland Street, where it re-opened on 19th October. You can see what I made of it when I visited at the end of December.