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Four Themed London Cafés You Need To Visit

If there’s one thing London’s not short of, it’s places to grab a coffee. There’s a Pret, Starbucks or Costa on every corner, and countless independent shops or smaller chains on the roads between, but sometimes a regular coffee shop experience gets boring. Sometimes, you need a little bit of theming… Here are four uniquely themed London cafés that have far more character than Starbucks ever could.


1) The Theatre Café

Next time you find yourself on Shaftesbury Avenue, head to the Theatre Café. It’s opposite Les Misérables, right in the heart of theatre land, and it’s full of theatre memorabilia from shows across the city and beyond. There’s a wall of Playbills from Broadway, poster after signed poster from dozens of West End shows, and a collection of show props from productions from Phantom to Matilda. The dressing room, bulb-encircled mirror in the bathroom is also perfect for a selfie. There’s frequent stagey karaoke and constant theatre tunes playing on a jukebox system so you can pick your favourite. All the drinks have musical theatre related names, so treat yourself to a Catsaccino or a Charlie at the Hot Chocolate Factory!


2) Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium

It’s easy to miss pets when you’re away at uni and your building has rules against furry friends, but Lady Dinah’s helps fill that void. It’s London’s first cat café and they always put the wellbeing of their felines first. The café is bedecked in wonderfully fairy-tale-esque décor, with a giant tree in the centre of the downstairs area. They’ve recently pushed for an Alice in Wonderland theme and it’s absolutely charming. All of the cats seem content and it’s calming to just watch them sleep. Bookings are strongly recommended for this place, with very few walk-ins available usually in the occasion of cancellations, and there is an entry fee which goes towards cat care. Or, opt for high tea and enjoy an array of sandwiches, cakes, scones and more!


3) Draughts Board Game Café

Draughts is a new favourite of mine, but it’s such got a wonderful atmosphere that I’ve been twice in the last three weeks. This one is less of a tea and coffee café, serving meals and alcohol as play games from their extensive library of board games for a cover charge of £5 that covers replacing games as they get worn out. Whether you want to play Cards Against Humanity or find something new, the Game Gurus can help you out with recommendations and rules. The café itself is charming, with bare brick walls and a rounded ceiling from the railway arch they call home. They also host events, from game design to tournaments to Dungeons and Dragons evenings, which are definitely worth checking out. Currently you have to travel out to Hackney for a visit, but there are plans for a second venue in Waterloo so keep an eye out for developments! For now, gather a party of friends and make the trip – it’s worth it!


4) Cereal Killer Café

This café might be the most notorious when it comes to the most expensive possible way to eat cereal, but they certainly make the experience worth it. The menu itself is enough to entice you for a visit, with luxurious stacked hot chocolates and oddities liked bubble gum flavoured milk that just makes me curious enough to give it a try. When it comes to cereals they have more than one hundred, from across the world. It’s not the biggest café, so definitely aim for an off-peak time to get a seat and enjoy what you paid for. And don’t forget to take a couple of pictures for Instagram, because this place has to be one of the most instagrammable places in the capital!


Is your favourite uniquely different café not here? Let us know where you like to visit – we always need new recommendations! 

King's College London English student and suitably obsessed with reading to match. A city girl passionate about LGBTQ+ and women's rights, determined to leave the world better than she found it.
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