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Top 5: Bookshop-Cafes to discover in London

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Image Credit: Paper and Cup via Facebook

Get your caffeine hit with a literary side at the best bookshop-cafes in London.

Coffee, reading and writing seem to go hand in hand in our opinion and you most certainly don’t need to be a writer or a literary expert to enjoy a bookshop café. Whether you’re looking for a fresh coffee and a place to  distract yourself for a short while with an impulsive read or to be inspired by new texts, we’ve got your back. Read on to find where London’s best bookshop cafés are scattered.

London Review Bookshop and Cake Shop, Bloomsbury

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14-16 Bury Place, London, WC1A 2JL

Yes, it’s an obvious choice, but included for a reason: its tea selection is almost as extensive as the range of books on offer. The London Review Cake Shop can be found inside the bookshop, through a corridor in the History section, meaning that you can select a book to buy and then settle down with a pot of tea. They serve Monmouth coffee, as well as a selection of loose-leaf tea served in glass Gong Fu teapots, and the homemade cakes range from Apple & Earl Grey to Rose & Pistachio, balancing delicate combinations of flavours.You can even purchase cakes-to-order - perfect for someone special or it you’re on the go! 

Keep an eye out for the educating and inspiring upcoming events in the bookshop that you can sign up for. 

Open Monday-Saturday, 10am-5.00pm. 

Nomad Books, Fulham

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781 Fulham Road, London, SW6 5HA

Nomad Books is an ideal spot for relaxation to visit and is especially helpful if you have children. They provide a wider variety of children’s books, lots of comfy bean bags and chairs, and of course, great coffee for you to enjoy while you kick back and get stuck into a good read with the kids in plain sight. 

Every month there’s story time with a guest reader. June welcomes Katie Mantwa George, who’ll be reading from her new picture book: Meadow and Marley’s Magical Mix. 

There are also bi-monthly events and workshops to attend. 

The personal recommendations scribbled on bookmarks - a feature co-opted by Waterstones - display how knowledgeable the staff are, and the shop is happy to order in any requests.

Open Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm. Visit Nomad Books.

Paper & Cup, Shoreditch

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18 Calvert Avenue, London, E2 7JP

Paper and Cup is a social enterprise café in Shoreditch run by a local charity offering training and work experience to former addicts and the long-term unemployed. Inside, you can sample their selection of cakes, including vegan options, and get lost in one of their many books - which are also for sale - hardbacks £4, paperbacks £2. And if that’s not all they’ve recently introduced a selection of second-hand and vintage items for you to browse through, including homeware and accessories. 

Open Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm.

Arthur Probsthain’s Tea and Tattle, Bloomsbury

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41 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3PE

Directly opposite the British Museum, you can find Arthur Probsthain Oriental and African Bookseller, and below it, the traditional tea room Tea & Tattle. At Arthur Probsthain’s, which has been in that spot since 1903, you can find a collection of Asian and African books, music and film, as well as rare and out of print editions. Their gallery has a changing display of Asian and African art, and they specialise in books on Eastern and African art, music, film, religion, languages, literature and culture. After exploring this specialist selection, head downstairs for tea and cake: Tea & Tattle offer afternoon tea for £19, a steal in central London. You can view their menu here.

The spot tends to fill up rather fast, so do be sure to book your table here

Bookshop open Monday-Friday 9.30am-5.30pm, and Saturday 12pm-4pm. Teashop open Monday-Friday 9am-6.30pm, and Saturday 12pm-4pm.

Review Bookshop, Peckham

131 Bellenden Road, London, SE15 4QY

The Review Bookshop in Peckham is best visited on a warm day, as you can buy a book and then take advantage of the outside garden with a fresh coffee for company. There are some squashy stools inside for when the weather is less pleasant, and they also sell local zines, gifts, Moleskines and items for children. Sadly their resident shop dog Gus is no longer there, but one quirk of the review is that they happily accommodate visitors with friendly dogs.

They often host book launches and readings, and the owner, Roz Simpson, is the creator of the Peckham Literary Festival, meaning that many of the autumn events are held there.

You can browse their upcoming events here.

Closed Monday-Tuesday, open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10am-6pm, Thursday 12pm-7pm and Sunday 11am-5pm(ish).