Bloomsbury Coffee House is everything a coffee house should be. In the time of generic chains deeply lacking in personality, this creaky-floored, white-walled, basement coffee house is filled  with character and excellent coffee. Perhaps the best I’ve ever tasted.

Bloomsbury opened in London on October, 2011, and has since gained a loyal neighborhood following. Owners Karl Geyer and Hannah Smith have lived in the Bloomsbury neighborhood for 10 years and saw a need for a neighborhood coffee house and meeting place.

“If we wanted good coffee, we’d just have to do it ourselves,” says Smith.

Smith has enjoyed building relationships with customers over the past few months.

“I’ve just enjoyed meeting different people every day. There are so many interesting stories to be told,” she says.

People gather around the old wooden tables to work, chat with friends, or to simply enjoy a good meal. The walls are decked out with hip paintings and vintage mirrors. It’s a quirky place that will never go out of style.

Bloomsbury Coffee House’s menu is small yet concise. Everything is homemade and all ingredients are locally sourced. Sandwiches, soups, and pastries are menu regulars, but there’s always room to experiment with the food at Bloomsbury.

“There’s no formula, the menu is different every day, and we literally do what we feel like day to day, depending on what’s available seasonly,” says Smith.

Bloomsbury is the kind of place to linger over breakfast (their granola and yogurt comes is a generous serving) or to spend an afternoon, with its relaxed, informal atmosphere. And seriously, the coffee is exquisite.

Photos by Katie Palmer