A Plum In Your Mouth

We've posted about New Zealand coffee shops before; having explored the lovely Sacred a while back, C & A were both left keen to discover some of the other Kiwi cafés in the capital. As we've mentioned before, coffee shop culture is really strong in NZ, and we're really pleased to see it now filtering through to London with small privately-owned cafés springing up all over the place.

With this in mind, C recently headed down to Damson café, one of the newer Kiwi coffee shops in town, for lunch with a few current colleagues. Situated on St Giles High Street, it's located just off Denmark Street and is a stone's throw from Tottenham Court Road station and Soho, making it a pretty perfect stopping point for tea and cake while in town.

Haloumi, sundried tomato and rocket, aka lunchtime heaven

As a café space, Damson may admittedly be small but it's perfectly formed: a fresh white colour scheme with contemporary lighting, wooden benches and a few quirky feature furnishings make it an immediately welcoming place to stop for a bite.

The counter's packed full of a great variety of freshly made sandwiches with interesting and unusual filling combinations (think haloumi cheese, sundried tomato and rocket, or lamb, cucumber and mint), tarts and quiches, and a selection of fresh salads, such as goat's cheese and beetroot. Mmm.


Chai, loose leaf and brewing away

Menu, salads and beautiful fresh flowers

As for something sweet, there's a variety of cakes and biscuits on offer here too - C, as ever afflicted with a sweet tooth, particularly liked the look of the orange and poppy seed cake, as well as the rich chocolate brownies (but just managed to resist, with this being a lunchtime and not afternoon visit). The breakfast menu, written up on the chalkboard above the counter, also looks seriously inviting - porridge with banana and honey, eggs made a variety of ways and freshly-made pancakes, in particular.

Orange and poppy seed cake - irresistible?

A vast selection of cakes and pastries, much to C's delight!

Damson also offers a selection of both black and green teas, including some unusual choices alongside the standard English Breakfasts, Earl Greys and Mints; C opted for a Chai which, as with most of her tea, she generally likes to drink black. It was broght out to her in a simple but attractive transparent teapot - ideal for watching the leaves and for telling exactly when it's brewed long enough.

Panini, with accompanying beetroot and goat's cheese salad

The scrumptious-looking chocolate brownies

Simply put, this place is great for a place to grab a few minutes of tranquility (and some great food) in a hectic park of London. It's good value for money, the food and drink is excellent, the décor clean and inviting and staff smiling and friendly. C (and A) will definitely be back soon - and a return trip to try the breakfast pancakes is definitely on the cards!

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