Cosy Cafes for Wintry Days

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Step in from the cold my dear, brush the wet from your coat and thaw out your toes, sit beneath fairy lights and wrap your fingers round a cup of something hot. All across London are cosy, independent cafes ready to receive you - here are a few of our faves.
A Grade II listed building (and for good reason), this old churchyard watch house has been converted into one of the cosiest cafes in town. Yes, space is limited, but the interior is absolutely stunning and there's no shortage on goodies on offer. Originally designed to keep the local church guards warm, The Watch House makes the perfect sanctuary from the wet wintry weather.
Aladdin, eat your damn heart out. This is what Arabian nights are made of: part souk, part bohemian lounge, Cafe Cairo makes the perfect hide-away from the high street drivel (and drizzle). A cosy den of dim lighting, snug seating, and wayward musicians, this spot has all sorts rubbing their eyes in disbelief. But it's not a mirage - it's real, and we're obsessed.
This one is more of a gallery in a cafe, than a cafe in a gallery. It has vegan and vegetarian food, a whole heap of art on the walls, and a programme of events including book clubs and open mic nights. There's always something going on. It can get a bit busy, but when it's cold and blustery who doesn't wanna make like penguins and huddle up?
Who's got time to hop on the Eurostar every time they want the Parisian café experience? Not us, that's for sure. Everyone should have a place like Madeleine in their back pocket for those exact times. Delicious, in-house cakes and pastries, daily servings of French onion soup, a charming pastry chef from Paris... If you're looking to escape the London drizzle for a couple of hours, this be the place.
An ode to strong coffee, great bread, and sweet and savoury treats, this iddy-biddy corner cafe is the perfect place to come for a quiet pit-stop. It's named after the library and bookshop, owned by an Albert Crick, that was on the site way back in the 1940s. The current owners have charmingly held on to tradition by encouraging people to bring and borrow books. Isn't that sweet?
Wood St Coffee might be open, airy, and laid back, but these guys don't fuck around when it comes to coffee. Serving up specialty brews, courtesy of Climpson & Sons and Counter Roastery, this independent local cafe is a great shout for those who want the best-of-all-beans in their cup of Joe. If you're looking for an afternoon out of the rain, why not get involved in one of their home-brewing masterclasses?
Located in a 17th century stable building, in a park described by Mark Twain as 'paradise', this family run cafe/lunch spot is certainly ticking the charm box. Fortunately for us, it's also a banging place to go for lunch. Take a brisk stroll up the hill in Gladstone park, and warm up with a coffee or hot chocolate in this delightful, historic cafe.
Spend enough time in The Hornbeam and you might just purge yourself of all the ailments of modern life - the place is solar powered for Christ’s sake. These good people are all about community, local produce, and keeping you green as a grasshopper. The seasonal menu (spelled out in fridge magnets) is primarily vegan and always tasty. What better way to warm away your wintery blues?
This is a 'literary cafe', which basically means the walls are lined with books, and everyone in here is working on their short story. Tbf, it makes for a pretty good working environment: It's cosy and comfortable with plenty of plug sockets. Plus, there's nothing quite like procrastinating over a slice of homemade carrot cake.
Tucked away in a little suburban corner of Kensal Rise, this cafe is endearing as hell and the epitome of pleasant. Something of a local legend for its ever-changing range of exotic foods, vibrant salads, and cracking fry ups, this is an excellent choice for lunch, brunch, or afternoon tea.
Oh so warm and welcoming, this little neighbourhood spot is what dreams are made of. Colourful bouquets dotting the tables, vintage teacups lining the shelves, the smell of freshly-baked goods lingering in the air – it’s all so idyllic, you might start to feel like you took a wrong turn and stepped into Pastry Heaven. But this is real… oh, it’s real.
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