A spot that I can’t help but keep returning to over and over again is the irresistibly cosy Scooter Caffé. Formerly a motorcycle garage, this café-come-bar has dumped the petrol and diesel in favour of fresh coffee, tasty cakes and a well stocked bar! However, it’s managed to retain its vespa inspired charm, making it not favourite with me alone but the locals too. Perfect for enjoying a book on your own, catching up with a friend over a coffee, or sipping G&T’s and sinking beers, the Scooter Caffé is a South London secret that I’m telling you about… but trusting you to keep!
As you enter, you are struck by the quirkiness of the café and the inviting scent of fresh coffee. Even after ordering your drink, and perhaps a slice of one of their delicious cakes, you sit down amongst the wonderfully mismatched furniture and can only admire the vintage decor; posters, mirrors, clocks and signs perch upon bookcases, lounge in the corners and cover every inch of the walls. A mix of electro-jazz and retro tunes play lightly in the background, accompanying the laidback atmosphere to good effect; once inside, you can’t help but lose yourself in the ambient surroundings.
That said, Scooter Caffé, also known as Scooterworks or Vespa, is not there to be stared at. It has resident board games for you to use, classics such as Scrabble and Monopoly, whilst they also have both film and jazz nights on selected evenings. Meanwhile, the free wifi is a useful service for those looking for somewhere to get on with their work quietly. And have I mentioned the hot chocolate? Out of this world. Creamy and thick, but not so rich that it’s unpleasant, it really is on another level from your regular coffee chains. What’s more they also have an BYOF policy (that’s bring your own food) so you can bring in a pizza from the Ecco’s down the road at no extra cost as long as you take your rubbish with you!
Cosy in winter, lively in summer (outdoor seating!), fun, relaxed and a welcome break from your typical London bar, Scooter Caffé is definitely worth a visit… and did I mention they have a resident cat?
Location: 132 Lower Marsh, SE1 7AE [Lambeth North, Waterloo]
Suitable For: Quiet Read, Chatting with Friends, Date, Something Different
Dining: Snacks [e.g. cakes], BYOF Policy
Price: Happily Affordable
Tips: It can get busy on some evenings so be prepared to hit up one of the many [not so cool] bars around if you don’t get there earlier…
Wow Factor: Charming Atmosphere and Vintage Decor