Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Café Laville Is "The Best Cafe In #London" According to LW's David @cafelavilleuk #LittleVenice

--> Where to grab a bite after/before a London Walk?

I've asked my London Walks colleagues to chip in their suggestions and I'll share them here regularly on The Daily Constitutional.

The Rules: All "reviews" were conducted anonymously and we paid our way. No kick-backs, no payola, no deals: these are the places that we London Walks guides - and London Walkers – choose when eating and drinking out and about in London. No buckshee burritos, nary a gratis granola bar was received in exchange for these recommendations.

And I promise never to use the word "eaterie". Seriously: have you EVER heard anyone SAY the word eaterie?

The Criteria: As well as the one-offs, the unique cafes, bars and stalls that make London so special, I'll be featuring reliable chains along the way. They have to be in London and within five minutes of the end of a London Walks tour.

I hope you enjoy them.

Have your say: As usual we'd like to hear from you – drop us a line with your own London foodie (and drinkie) tips.

Buon Appetito!

A.S-G London, April 2017

Cafe Laville is, in my opinion, the best Cafe in London. Goes without saying there are thousands of cafes in London and I've only been to a few hundred of them. But has anybody been to all of them? What would you make of somebody who'd been to every cafe in London? Nuff said?

So what's it got going for it? Why is it well nigh perfect? Why is it the platonic ideal of a London cafe? Why do I go to the Cafe Laville, at least once a week, week in and week out? More frequently when it's possible to do so.

You can start with the view…

 It straddles the Regent's Canal at its Little Venice end. The most beautiful part of the most beautiful canal in England. The back "wall" is a huge window affording breathtaking views of the canal, the barges, the sky and clouds, the mature plane trees. And their reflection in the water. The side "walls" are also huge picture windows. The roof is a glass roof. In short, where you're chatting, dining, daydreaming, luxuriating is suffused with light. But not baked with it - because the dining room is dappled with the shadows of the maturing plane trees on either side of the canal that form a partial canopy overhead.


As is the food. I almost always have the fish soup. I love fish soup and Alberto's is the best I've ever had - by a league or two. Why? Two reasons. 1. Because his grandmother in Calabria taught him how to make it. And 2. Because it is supremely fresh. Ahhh, freshness. Always the litmus test.

And that goes for everything Alberto and Co. serve up. Simplicity. Freshness. Flavours so intense they're the culinary/taste bud equivalent of the colours on an Impressionist artist's palette.

And as for the coffee... Well, once you've had Alberto's coffee you'll grimace at even a wisp of a thought of the sweaty sweet brown water you pay a lot more for at Starbbles.

Anything else? Sure, this isn't a chain, isn't a multinational. It's a small, local, independent. Surely no need to spell out the import of that.

And Alberto and his team are bright, friendly, helpful, fun. The service is really good without being in the least pretentious.

Lemme sum it up this way. Every summer I take the groups of a very upmarket American travel company on our Little Venice walk. They always want a pre- or apres-walk cafe for one of the bookends of that walk. They're discerning, discriminating travellers.

Cafe Laville is where I take them. And always - ALWAYS - they're over the moon about it.

Taken all together - that's my view, my experience, my opinion of Cafe Laville.

Find Cafe Laville here…

The Little Venice Walk takes place on Saturdays at 2 pm, Sundays at 2 pm and Wednesdays* at 11 am. On Saturdays and Sundays it's guided by Shaughan. On Wednesdays it's guided by Peter or Richard III. The meeting point is just outside the exit of Warwick Avenue Tube.  N.B. the Little Venice Walk ends back at Warwick Avenue Tube.   *The Wednesday Little Venice walk does NOT run in December and January

Here's a preview of the tour…

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.

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