Other Locations: Chancery Lane, Waterloo, Soho, The Gherkin and South Bank.
7:30am – 6:00pm Monday to Friday
8:30am – 5:00pm Saturday
The borough Market location (visited repeatedly) is just next to Monmouth coffee, the pairing couldn’t be more perfect. Once you know what delicacies reside inside, it is almost impossible to pass by without picking something up. ‘Konditor’ means pastry chef in German and pastry chef and creator Gerhard Jenne is German trained. This creates a wonderful combination of technique with british staples, evidenced, in what I feel confident to say, is the world’s foremost mince pie.
Careful attention to ingredients – organic free-range eggs & natural butter – shows in the final product; a series of cookies, cakes, tartes, brownies and the lightest cheese-cake possible. There is also a selection of wheat free, dairy free and low sugar pastries, as well as personalized funky cakes. If you are in town for the holiday season, be sure to pick up as many as the aforementioned mince pies as possible. We purchased one of the Christmas Pudding’s and brought it to friends in Nepal for our visit; Tears of joy followed.
There are savories as well, with daily lunch specials, sandwiches, salads, lasagna, and focaccias.
8:00 am – 6:30pm Monday – Saturday – Covent Garden
7:30 am – 6:00pm Monday – Saturday – Borough Market
Monmouth Coffee. Speak those two words to any coffee-lover who knows London and a soft smile will appear on their lips; a knowing glow in their eyes. Like most things these days, the earlier memories are the most pungent. For me us it was the cool afternoons ambling through Covent Garden, when suddenly your entire world would be filled with the singular aroma of roasting coffee; and then you would be dragged along by the nose till you found the source and stepped inside Monmouth Coffee!
The 27 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden location first opened in 1978, where they used to roast the coffee in the basement (and thus leading to the corresponding scents drifting down the block). On the the mezzanine there are a few cramped wooden booths where you would crowd in with your caffeine craving brethren. Each of you tasting a roast from exotic locations: Yirgacheffe from Ethiopia, brews from the Colombian zona cafetera or organic beans from the Hawaiian islands – you can travel the world within your mug while snacking croissants and chocolates.
In 2007 the roasting plant was moved to larger facility in Bermondsey, and is now used to support both the Covent Garden spot and the larger location, opened in 2001, next to Borough Market. There there is a large communal table, where for a quite reasonable fee, you can comparte in baguettes with natural butters, jams and marrmate. It gets quite crowded on market days, but there are two counters: one for bagged beans and the other for service. A trick to getting a quicker cup is to buy a bag of beans – and they will serve you some to go at the same time 🙂
On a sunny Saturday morning, strolling down past Columbia Road, we stumbled across the clever workshop ‘Unto This Last’. The one design that really caught our eyes was the sheared sphere CD rack. Like most great designs it is simple, easy to assemble, transport and very attractive.
Unto This Last specializes in practical design products, mostly constructed of sustainably harvested Birch Plywood that is easily laminated in a large array of colours. The ethos here is “On-demand, High Street Micro-Manufacturing”. They have over 2,000 designs on file with a portion pre-constructed and on display. But more then a showroom, the Brick Lane space is a workshop (including a CNC machine!), where they easily manufacture any of the designs to order. Lowering overhead and inventory, they are able to offer high design and a good price.
The design house is aptly named after John Ruskin’s 1860 Book “Unto This Last”, where the art critic exposes and denounces the the devastating social consequences of capitalism and the industrial revolution while advocating for the local craftsman: a manifesto that inspired the the arts and crafts movement.