#TheCappuccinoSeries: Machine (and the Bermondsey Bomb)

This is the first post of The Cappuccino Series: after two great teaching terms, my MA course in London is in the beginning of its end. I finally start working on my final essays and my dissertation, whereas I work for the great Southbank Centre as an intern. Great times are coming!

Therefore, I hereby start #TheCappuccinoSeries, in which I will unlock the best picks of my favourite drink in London coffee shops. Starting with a local place: Machine Cycling Cafe, in Bermondsey.

Cappuccino in Machine coffee shop bermondsey Place: Machine, Bermondsey
Price: £ 2.50
Size: Large
Characteristics: creamy, a bit sweeter than average. I’ve ordered it with soy milk, so definitely a good pick because we know how hard it is to make such texture when you replace regular milk. Chocolate on top, blended with the foam, with no barista arts — but still a very beautiful look.
Final rating: 4 of 5 stars ****

The day I’ve tried their cappuccino was an unforgettable day. Not only was it a great surprise, but also I’ve experienced a surreal historic event: the Bermondsey Bomb. Last Monday, an unexploded bomb was found only 400 meters from my house. No, it was not a terrorist threat: It was a WWII bomb, found out when builders were doing the foundation of a building in Bermondsey, central London. The neighbourhood — which happens to be my neighbourhood — was severely bombed by the German Blitz during the Second World War. It is fascinating to realise how much history the place has. Of course, a dark and sad one.

Since I was unable to make my way back home, after talking to some officials in the venue, I decided to give Machine a chance after so many times walking by it, always curious about the bikes on the outside and the hipster messages in the black board on the sidewalk (is this a default for London cafes? I guess so).

Then, I got it: Machine is originally a bike shop. They repair bikes and sell everything related to the great cycling community in London (which I am strongly thinking about joining, by the way, but this is another topic). The atmosphere is fantastic: artsy place, with tables made of bike wheels, extremely friendly staff and free Wi Fi.

People come and go with their bikes and pets. Most of them seem to be loyal customers of this hidden secret in south London, as they greet and smile to the baristas and ask for their favourite pastries and cakes. From old ladies to young workers, as well as families with kids and fast friends catch ups. Unfortunately, there is no much space for working for a long time: I was squeezed in the only table near sockets, sharing it with some journalists that would go there to send their pictures and reports about the Bermondsey bomb. However, the cappuccino is absolutely fantastic, by far one of the best ones I’ve tried in London so far…. And believe me, I’ve tried many.

MachineUK Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 13.07.01

(Pictures from their Facebook Page)

Atmosphere: hipster, bikes, artsy.
Vegan options: yes.
Gluten free options: yes.
Pet friendly: yes (they even have some cookies for your beloved dog).
Wi Fi: yes
Long term work: no

Side notes: I’ve tried a warm tuna sandwich and a gluten free cookie as well. Both above the average quality.

A great way to start #TheCappuccinoSeries. I will definitely come back — but not for working there, basically getting a warm Cappuccino and keep walking to the uni.

Machine Cycling Cafe
97 Tower Bridge Road
London SE1 4TW
020 7407 4287

Share your Cappuccino picks with me with the hashtag #TheCappuccinoSeries on Instagram (hey, follow me!) and I will try your choices too. I already have a list of other places in mind, but I would be happy to have suggestions about it!

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3 thoughts on “#TheCappuccinoSeries: Machine (and the Bermondsey Bomb)

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