Armed with an A-Z and a list of places gathered from reliable sources, I am embarking on a pilgrimage in search of good cafes and, more importantly, decent coffee. Unfortunately due to lifestyle choices (i.e sleep) I'm now a one coffee a day drinker - hence the importance that I place on that coffee- so it will be a slow journey.
Whenever I complained about the coffee in London people would ask "have you been to Bar Italia in Soho"? What better place to begin this pilgrimage than at the godfather of coffee houses.
A classic Italian espresso bar, if I wasn't sitting across the road from Ronnie Scott's I could swear I was in Pellegrini's in Bourke St Melbourne. Same floor bolted vinyl bar stools lining a long mirrored wall (not a bad hair day or large group venue), same nonchalant 'I could think of better things to do than wait on you' waiting staff and same mix of city workers, Italian men and groovy young things drawn in by the retro kitsch...
and the coffee: lovely strong Italian style coffee served in a normal sized cup with nice thickly textured milk; but relatively expensive at 2.50 (ludicrously expensive if you convert to Australian dollars but what's the point).
I just had the coffee but I did see some impressive paninis walking by including a prelude to a heart attack: a chicken schnitzel ciabatta sandwich.