Is it just us, or have Scandinavians mastered the art of living well? With concepts such as hygge and umage now entering the mainstream, we are all starting to open our eyes to how our lifestyle could be drastically improved by paying attention to things that we probably already do.
One Scandinavian culture that is taking the Londoner lifestyle by storm is the art of fika.
What is fika?
Fika, literally speaking, means taking time out for coffee and cake with friends. Authors of ‘Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break’ Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall said that in Swedish, coffee is just ‘kaffe’, but coffee plus something to eat is ‘fika’.
Coffee culture is well engrained in Swedish culture, and plays an important role in their overall mental wellbeing. It is no surprise, then, that this notion of taking time out to enjoy oneself and enjoy others’ company over great coffee and food has become a staple in Londoners’ lifestyles. Our streets are full of great cafes and boltholes welcoming all walks of life from the hot-shot city type to stay-at-home mother and everyone in between.
So without further ado, here is our top picks of London’s cafes to enjoy a fika moment.
1. Benk + Bo, 4-6 Gravel Ln, Spitalfields, London E1 7AW
Nestled in the bustling creative district, Benk + Bo is an oasis of deceleration for corporate and freelance individuals alike. Co-owned by Antony and Mariell, this space has a wonderful Scandi meets London vibe, with lots of hanging plants and ample comfy seating for you to burrow away and enjoy a moment of peace. Serving excellent Square Mile coffee and a range of delicious bites, Benk + Bo will surely become a home away from home.
Coffee served: Dark Arts Coffee on espresso and Square Mile Coffee on filter
2. Nordic Bakery, 14A Golden Square, Soho, London W1F 9JG
If you’re after a simple, uncluttered space to unwind and enjoy a great cup of coffee and pastry, then Nordic Bakery has you covered. All of their food is based on traditional Nordic recipes and ingredients, making it a truly authentic place to experience the magic of fika.
Coffee served: they roast their own
3. Fabrique, Arch 385, Geffrye St, London E2 8HZ
Located in the railway arches near Hoxton Overground, Fabrique is a true Scandi staple in Shoreditch. It was the first of the brand’s bakeries outside of Stockholm, and quickly won the hearts of Londoners with their classic cinnamon buns and cardamom rolls.
Get here early enough, and you’ll get the best seats in the house, watching the bakers’ work their magic!
Coffee served: Johan & Nyström
4. Blåbär, 3A Lacy Rd, London SW15 1NH
If you’re into interiors and homeware as much as we are at Caffeine, then Blåbär is the perfect place for you to get your fika fix. Hidden away in Putney’s Nordic Living store is a cute cafe serving up delicious Swedish cinnamon buns amongst a plethora of other yummy bites.
Coffee served: Johan & Nyström
5. Ole & Steen, 56 Haymarket, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4RN
Ole & Steen’s in St James’s was the first bakery of their brand outside of Denmark, and quickly became a wildly popular addition to London’s cafe scene. The simplicity of Danish interior design blended with the delicious pastries baked to perfection, Ole & Steen has mastered the art of chic fika.
Coffee served: Modern Standard