Hub Coffee House Waterloo
Now if you’re anything like me, the sentence ‘South of the River’ is always followed by a shudder and feeling of foreboding. My last experience of South of the River dining was one dodgy Mr Fish bar very late one Friday night when after several cocktails quite frankly anything seemed like a good idea. Well this really wasn’t a great idea as nursing our stomach aches the general group consensus was that we’d had our insides violated and the reason for this of course was that we were not in North London, or even Central London, we were in the hazardous South.
Imagine my surprise then when I stumbled across the Hub Coffee House in Waterloo, directly opposite Lambeth North Tube Station. Had it not have been for the signage and wonderful smells, I would never have known what it was, for Ladies and Gentlemen, this little South London gem is in a Church. My impression of a church coffee house up until this point had always been of old ladies serving instant coffee and selling their homemade cross stitch cards for charity while perhaps trying to lure all and sundry into every church activity on offer. But so bleary eyed and caffeine starved was I on that day that I didn’t even stop to consider what might be on the other side of the door. I am glad that I didn’t. Although the inside could not exactly be deemed glamorous or even particularly smart, this place stocks Monmouth Coffee, yes that one that you queue for half and hour for in Borough Market. Ethically produced and fairly traded, (of course you’d expect nothing less from a Church) it is very reasonably priced too. The staff were not at all intrusive but surprisingly young, friendly and professional. There was a good selection of freshly baked croissants, pastries and cakes too. Not an old lady or a cucumber sandwich in sight.
Most customers at 8.30am appeared like me to be business people grabbing their breakfasts on the way to work or a meeting, but a lunch menu boasting ‘farm-fresh’ soups, gourmet sandwiches, salads and baked potatoes at excellent prices was displayed on a chalk board above the counter. To top it off, The Hub Coffee House also offers free wifi. Not only is this not bad for a church coffee shop, but if you’re in the area, it’s well worth making a detour for.