For those who are unfamiliar with the area, Shoreditch is one of the trendiest places in London. Located in the north-east of London, it’s a home for artists making and selling their own designer stuff.  It’s also full of popular bars and is considered a curry mecca by the locals. I call it an alternative part of London with its unique relaxed spirit of art and freedom. Redchurch Street has its own cutting-edge style with its independent cloth stores and places for hipsters to hang out. For me it was a bit of an unusual experience, mainly because I have never been to a place where you can buy farm vegetables, have a coffee and get your nails done at the same time. While waiting for your partner to finish his grooming, you can shop for new ceramic door handles or even earrings. When you are done with beauty treatments and have eaten, you can move one floor up to the cinema. I am telling you, only a funky hostel is missing there 🙂 As for me, I came there to do some blog work and to have my morning cappuccino (£3.38). It was quite empty at 10 am on Saturday but started to get…

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This summer I had the chance to participate in a meeting of creative entrepreneurs and bloggers all around the UK. This was a very spontaneous and last minute decision which turned out to be a very inspirational and fun networking event. By that time ‘OK, But First Coffee’ was 1 month old and written in Russian only. I had wanted to meet UK bloggers for quite a long time so this was a perfect moment for me to do this. Blogtacular is the place where bloggers come together for one day to share their experiences, get inspired  and have fun. This is the second conference organized by Kat Molesworth and Kat Goldin and I can’t wait to go there next year. Thanks Mollie Makers for the nice photographs and all the sponsors: Pinterest, Mail Chimp, Thomson, West Elm and others. It all started with the keynote speech from Grace Bonney (Design Sponge), who shared her experience and ideas on overcoming fears we all sometimes have. I can’t express more how helpful it was for me personally at that time, when I started my new adventure – this blog. I spent a lot of time thinking about the idea ‘Ok, But…

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A few weeks ago I was traveling in Israel and it was quite an intense trip. Jumping into a car, driving to a new town, checking in, having lunch, sightseeing, and repeat. Only in Jerusalem did I have a chance to slow down and check out ‘off the map’ places like hidden local coffee shops. Located in a courtyard, Tmol Shilshom isn’t easy to find but worth the effort. I like how Israelis pay a lot of attention to plants (they are literally at every balcony and used to decorate almost every entrance), so the first thing you see is a big pot. A few steps up and you get to choose where to go – to the right where it looks like ordinary cafe or to the left where you get into a book haven with big cozy arm chairs in the corner of the room and lots of stuff to read. The place has its own unique atmosphere – simple and relaxed, where you feel at home and away from queuing tourists and pilgrims. For 16 shekels or £2.60, you get a big latte which you can enjoy on the small balcony. Here, you can be almost exclusively…

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One Saturday morning I went to the FCUK sample sale, where it was almost impossible to leave without a few new dresses. It felt like ‘back to USSR’: they give you a big plastic bag and you walk into a spacious room with rows of endless racks with clothes. You have to work hard with your shoulders to get past other shopaholics to find something worthy. Instead of price tags you get an A4 sheet with approximate values. There are neither fitting rooms nor mirrors and you are not allowed to try on even a jacket. Altogether it’s rather exhausting and tiring, and after 2 hours all I could think of was a breakfast in a coffee shop nearby which I had been planning to visit for a while. Camden Town is quite a unique London borough, it’s a hang out place for people from different subcultures. That’s why there are almost none of the usual hipster-like coffee shops you can find elsewhere in central London. Somewhere behind the road construction barriers I discovered ‘Leyas’ – a coffee shop with delicious hot croissants, a collection of antique coffee grinders and vintage furniture. I really love sitting at tables by the window, but..…

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Yes.. A former underground Victorian toilet has been converted into a coffee shop. Original tiles, urinals and even the cisterns remain the same. I read about The Attendance a few months ago in Time Out, and came across it accidentally. This toilet was built at the end of 19th century and was not in use for another half century. Nowadays it’s said to be a unique espresso bar in Europe. I walk through the door and stop for a moment being speechless. Baristas are laughing, it seems everyone has the same face when they get here for a first time. All the tables (and some urinals) are busy,  Jamiroquai is playing in the background. It’s time to try a coffee here. I ask a barista what is his favourite drink and he says as an Italian he prefers a cappuccino.  While I’m still coming to terms with the interior, he convinces me to try the carrot pie of the day.  Well done! I would prefer of course to sit down at the table by the big window overlooking the busy street, but only urinals are available, so there is no choice. Indescribable experience … Unconsciously trying not to touch the…

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This coffee shop has everything I like: big windows along the walls, a corner location, minimalistic interior design and not so many people. I was actually quite surprised to see only one person there on Saturday morning. Most coffee shops open till 5 or 6 pm and usually they are very crowded at the weekends. Very typical for London. Every time I want to try a green coffee but end up ordering flat white. Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed at all, their coffee is to high standard. Lounge music is playing that makes me want to stay there all day. I am always curious who is that person who picks these tracks for coffee shops. I would buy an album if there was such. Sometimes I feel like a blond girl when using Shazam to save a song I like. I take my seat to sign postcards ( I like to send them to my friends from places I visit) and to read about a coffee festival in Shoreditch where I could not get in unfortunately.  Well, why couldn’t. I got there by the midday, looked at that half a kilometre line and decided to go to VIP entrance for £18…

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You can easily ‘buy’ me with a place where interior designers did their best to make it look simple, but perfectly beautiful, where staff is friendly and the food is delicious. I come to Holborn for a brunch with girls and realise that I’m half an hour early and dressed not for this English summer weather. Holborn Grind is on my way and I get in for a cup of hot coffee to get warm. “Hey you alright?” – asks barista while I am taking photos. This confuses me a lot. He suggests to buy a croissant or a banana cake. I reply with something like ‘Thank you’ and start looking for a perfect place to sit down. It’s been a bit more that a year in England and I’m still not used to these famous small talks. 8 of 10 times I take a way too long pause to think what to reply. One of co-founders is an Australian Dj who is famous for his old single I like the way you move. I personaly prefer lounge music in coffee shops, but this style suits here the best. They bring me my cappuccino and for the next 10 minutes I look at…

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Hi! Thanks for visiting ‘OK, But First Coffee’!   If the first thing you think of in the morning is coffee and you love hanging out in artesian coffee shops, then this blog is the perfect place for you. I review coffee shops in London and other places when I have a chance to travel. I would also love to share tips on how to make the perfect coffee at home, as I learn more about beans, grinders and actual brewering. An idea of such a blog came to my mind when together with a friend we discovered a perfect place for afternoon coffee in Lisbon. It was a really nice cafe on a terrace overlooking the sea. I thought to myself, I wish there was an online community of coffee lovers who would add their reviews to places like this with some photos. Hence, a month later I started ‘OK, But First Coffee’. My name is Katya, I’m originally from Saint Petersburg, Russia. I moved to London in spring 2014 and I am still discovering this city. I’m very much into mobile photography and London is a perfect place to practice it. I have always had a camera, my first…

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