On my shortlist of the quirkiest spots in London, Scooter Caffe is a delightful coffee house hiding out in an old Vespa repair shop in Waterloo. With resident cats, film nights, live music and Aperol sitting next to the coffee cups, it’s something of a mini cultural institution.
On a Sunday on South Bank, there’s not enough room to swing a cat (though it would be nice to use it to knock out a few tourists), yet a few streets away on Lower Marsh, it’s a ghost town. Soggy newspapers and market cast-offs rustle through the streets like tumbleweeds, and I’m half expecting someone to come barging out of a saloon door.
This town is big enough for the both of us, promise.
It’s places like this that keep my inner small town, claustrophobic, Dixie Chicks-style wide open spaces girl at ease. The fact that in a city of 8.5 million people, you can still be one of the few who decided to be here at this very moment.
London Thing 237 of 1000: ‘Shopping on lower marsh is some of the best in london. it’s got everything you could want: …in Scooter caffe, fabulous italian coffee and a few resident cats.’
And so it was that we relaxed an afternoon away in the charming Scooter Caffe on ghost town street. A few other souls were dotted around inside, quietly sipping Italian coffees and reading newspapers.
The decor looked like it could have been the aftermath of what would happen if your grandma’s basement exploded: fascinating but odd knick-knacks everywhere and walls lined in vintage posters and old newspaper. And props to your grandma if she’s the one who stole the Bakerloo line sign next to the spiral staircase.
The cafe covers two floors, with a cavernous basement and some outside space in the back. We’ve heard rumours of Scooter Caffe’s resident cats , but none were out to play when we visited, which I guess just means we have to go back!
The wonderfully colourful Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel is a short walk away — worth checking out since you’re in the neighbourhood!
Drink: Scooter Caffe, 132 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7AE. Tube Waterloo.
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