Yesterday I happened upon a very cute little café behind Centre Point in central London called Damson which provided the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of afternoon shopping on Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road. I was surprised to find such a chilled out café with an easy-going relaxed vibe in what is generally a very commercial part of town, largely dominated by large chain coffee shops and restaurants. Situated on St Giles High Street on the corner of New Compton Street (near to St Giles Church), Damson is a delightfully tranquil spot where you could easily lose a couple of hours drinking delicious teas and coffee and watching the world go by.
Initially it was the light airy space and the fresh flowers that drew me inside (I spied bright yellow daffodils in glass vases on every table which is always a winner for me). Once inside I found the atmosphere to be warm and friendly and not at all snooty, which can often be the case with independent coffee shops. I ordered a latte which was spot on, strong and tasty and served in a small glass. I am so often disappointed by lattes that are far too milky (if I wanted hot milk I would ask for it). Made with Square Mile beans there was nothing disappointing about this coffee, it was perfectly smooth and not bitter in the slightest.
Since the sandwiches looked so good I decided to stay for lunch and ordered a chicken, pesto and rocket baguette. It proved to be a good choice, the bread was fresh and the filling was tasty. Crucially it filled me up so I was a happy customer. All of the food is prepared fresh in the kitchen and food options include salads, soups, stews, pasties and sandwiches. There is also a damn fine looking selection of cakes and pastries. Had I been in the mood I would have also ordered one of those but I will look forward to indulging in something sweet next time I visit, which I hope is very soon.
The interior of the café is very cool, generally fresh and white but channeling a relaxed rustic vibe with old wooden doors and windows along the side wall creating mismatched wooden panels. To sit at, old wooden tables and chairs create a comfortable worn in look with several small tables and one large communal table in the centre. Menus are written on chalk boards above the till point and staff are happy to advise on food and drink choices. The hand written style logo adds to the cool factor and sets it apart from the corporate feel of certain chains. I have now added Damson to my list of go-to cafés in central London and I can’t wait to go back and sample more of the wonderful food and enjoy another coffee.