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A handy daytime pit stop & a refreshing antidote to the ever-increasing number of chain coffee bars in Covent Garden, Notes is run with genuine warmth & offers top-notch cups of Joe from
Square Mile Coffee Roasters, plus generous pastries, cakes & sandwiches. Queue at the long wooden counter, or linger in comfortably pared-back surrounds over a platter of charcuterie & a
bottle of interesting vino. In the evening, a more extensive ‘small plates’ menu might feature the likes of Scrimshaw pork pie with cornichons, duck confit, smoked trout pâté or tender lomo en orza
(marinated pork loin). Culture vultures will love the laid-back jazz & classical music soundtrack, not to mention regular wine & music evenings featuring tastings & expert talks on
composers such as Verdi & Strauss. There’s an offshoot at 31 St Martin’s Lane (020 7240 7899).
What a cute, cosy little place this is. I have been meaning to go since a friend of mine recommended it to me and it seemed like the perfect place to go to catch up with a different friend over a cup of coffee. The place is small but as we were meeting at the beginning of the hinterland that is London at Christmas, I wasn't too worried about us not finding a seat. And I was right. There were plenty. It was a particularly soggy day so entering this warm cafe (in both atmosphere and heating) was a relief. One of the staff greeted me, noting by my craning neck that I was meeting someone, and so he deposited a menu with me, but didn't pester me for a choice until my companion had arrived. Having several minutes to peruse the menu, I found it hard to decide on what to have. A lot of the options sounded great, and they were all priced at around the Â£7 mark, making it impossible to rule anything out on price alone.Eventually, I settled on the salad with pistachio-encrusted chicken, feeling like I should be a little healthier in preparation for the Christmas gluttony. So, the beef and mash and the pork belly special, not to mention the chilli and cheddar tartlet narrowly missed out on being consumed. My friend had eaten heartily earlier so was having dessert with her coffee, choosing the marble cake from the several tempting choices on the counter.Being priced at seven pounds, I fully expected my salad to be more of the 'side salad' size with a couple of nuggets of chicken on top. Instead a piled-up beast of a plate was served to me, with a whole breast sliced upon it. Chunks of avocado and cherry-tomato halves made the salad a little more interesting. It was drizzled with a sweet, sticky balsamic sauce. It was just what you want when you order a salad - plenty of greens to fill you up. I never understand why places skimp on the core of the salad - the leaves.I had a mocha to warm me up as an accompaniment to my cold sald. It was very rich and smooth. I'm no coffee connoisseur but to me it tasted like top stuff. Apparently they take their coffee seriously - seriously enough to have their own roastery.Nothing but good things to report - lovely ambiance, lovely food.
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