Clearly, Starbucks isn't a hidden gem of London, they are on every corner. (Except for where I live, the closest one is about 3 miles away!)
This well known coffee shop chain started in America, in 1971, and now Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world. There are now hundreds dotted all over the country and within London, you only have to walk walk a matter of metres after leaving one Starbucks, before stumbling upon another. (Unless you really want one and then, puff, they all seem to have disappeared.)
There are some people who hate the corporation and others who are literally obsessed with it. One man, Rafael Antonio Lozano Jr (or Winter, as he has called himself) has set himself the goal to drink a cup of coffee in every Starbucks store, in the world! That is a latte coffee!
Of all the coffee shop chains, I have to say, Starbucks is my number one. (Although I do sometimes cheat on Starbucks for a Posh Cheddar at Pret, shhhh don't tell.)
One of my favourite things to do is to go to one of my favourite Starbucks, sit, listen, watch the world go by and do a little bit of writing.
And where will you find me doing such a thing?
On the Southbank, just next to the Globe, tucked off of the main walk way is a Starbucks, and from the window St Paul's dominates the view. It is a nice place to sit and watch the world go by but not the best for eavesdropping. Unless of course you are multi lingual, unlike myself, and can understand the languages of the visiting tourists.
Or I might be at St Katherine's Docks.
At one time the Docklands were one of the world's busiest ports, now it is one of the most expensive dock developments. Amongst the yachts and million pound pads you will find this little gem.
I love it because it is unlike any other Starbucks I have been to, from it's architecture to it's surroundings. The building itself was originally opened by Elizabeth II as an all-faith chapel, but now is a haven for all types of coffee lovers.
On a summer's day it is gorgeous, sitting outside by the still dock, somewhat hidden away from the chaos of Tower Bridge and the milling tourists.
It isn't the largest of coffee houses, there are limited tables inside and you can end up sitting rather close to the people at the table next to you, but I love it all the same...plus the closer you are, the easier it is to eavesdrop.