A favorite of LSE students because of its proximity to campus, you'll often find people brunching and lunching and sipping coffee here throughout the day. I try to support local cafes and restaurants whenever I can, so I love that Fleet River provides a great alternative to the coffee chains on Kingsway.
They serve Monmouth coffee here, which means they are guaranteed to give you a zap of caffeine for that midday pick-me-up. They always have a selection of fresh salads during lunch, but get there early because when they run out, that's it! They have the best sandwiches in the area, made with artisanal bread and generous fillings of meats, cheese, and veggies. At around £4-5, the sandwiches are quite reasonably priced given how filling they are. Also, try the scones - they're light, buttery, and they fall apart when you poke them!
Protip: If you're just picking up a sandwich, you can jump to the front of the queue (although, no guarantees that you'll avoid getting annoyed glances..)
During the lunch rush from 12 until around 2, the place does fill up, both upstairs and downstairs. That's the only reason why I'm taking one star off: I love the atmosphere, especially the downstairs which is much quieter, and wish it was the kind of place where you could sit and read a book or write papers all day, but you just can't when it gets too busy.
I really wanted to like this place. The smell of cakes and fresh baguettes and the constant queuing out the front made it so tempting.
If the rolling eyes and impatience of the woman behind the counter wasn't enough, paying £4.20 for a baguette that had a sliver of mushy brie, a drizzle of pesto and a couple of tomatoes with rocket was a total rip off and disappointment.
I visited FRB between tutorial and seminar on a weekday -- simply looking for a good sandwich. Did I find it!
I can't quite remember what I had... Fairly certain it involved bacon, chicken, tomato, and other things -- but it was a hearty sandwich and lasted me two meals. I didn't have a coffee, as I'd been trying to cut down on expenses as much as possible.
The other treats and nibbles on the menu/on display also seemed promising. I believe I didn't get a very fancy sandwich, but if my humble stacker is anything to go by, the more fanciful menu items should be even more phenomenal.
Seating seemed to be a bit limited from what I saw, but there's seating below deck if you're looking for it. If you want a place to study, I suggest going here a bit earlier than popular meal times.
well well, do I dare say that I found a place with delicious cakes? yes and no. On my first visit, I was very impressed with the quality of the sweet stuff. I couldn't take my mouth off the apple and walnut cake with yummy frosting and wanted more when it finished; always a good sign. It was so moist, the frosting not buttery but more on the cream cheese side, not overly sweet, just how I like it; coffee tasted fine, maybe not the best but still passed the test, hehe. The place has a good choice of seats. I was quite happy and I knew I would come back one day. So when I had someone visit me, that was a perfect opportunity to go there again. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as the first time. The lemon cake was sooo sweet that even my companion who is so much into cakes and sweets, couldn't finish it. We shared the cake and still left some as it was not possible to eat it all, especially the frosting, far too much butter and sugar. why would you do that?? The other one, which was banoffee was better, enough to get by. As someone here said, it can be a hit or miss.
I think I will have to take it to round three.
Updating from my old review...
Still great lunch menu that changes daily.
Unfortunately, their baked goods can be hit and miss. Often have had dry brownies or burnt cupcakes...
I like Fleet Street Bakery, and given all the options in and around the Holborn area I would happily come here for brunch or breakfast or any meal of the day.
The coffee - this is easy, their coffee is sourced from Monmouth and whilst that's a promising start, the coffee is served at a good temperature, it's creamy and rich - this coffee snob approves. I've had the mushroom, ham and cheese buckwheat crepe. This was a solid breakfast. The buckwheat crepe has a subtle and wholesome taste to it; the ingredients are fresh and liberally scattered over the crepe. This is filling and delicious, what a great way to kick off your day! Another breakfast I've had here is the Chorizo, potatoes and poached egg breakfast, this one feeds a small family - incidentally I have one in my tummy, so no problems there. Both eggs were perfectly cooked, chorizo was spicy and thoroughly warmed, the potatoes soft and everything well seasoned. Probably making this a staple breakfast - If only I could splash out a tenner every time I had breakfast - I wasn't going to skip the latte now was I? (Chorizo thingy thing - £7.50, Latte - £2.30)
So it is a tad expensive, now to explain why the coveted 5 stars. This is circumstantial if anything. I roll into town pretty early on Sundays and at 8.30 nowehere wonderful is open apart from this little beauty, how you find staff to wake up that early, I don't know. But I salute you all.
Almost skipped it, but a quick one on the ambience - lots and lots of hipster seating, and for the calm sunny mornings to can eat outside and take a stroll at Lincoln's in. This is my Sunday morning package.
A pleasant moment here.
Even the order process is a bit strange, first order and and pay at the main counter. They give you a number, you can go to find a table, your food will be served directly to you. Except.... the drinks!! So I waited 15 minutes to get my drinks, until l realized you have to go to pick it at a different counter...
Luckily I love their food, perfect toasted sourdough bread topped a nice poached egg. and a really great carrot cake!
The terrace is great when sunny, but it be windy if you seat on the right side of the shop.
Loved the atmosphere, location is nice, but they don't really have a seating area next to the counters. A huge space is available downstairs, when the weather is nice, I would prefer to see the natural light.
GREAT cakes and hot chocolate. Coffee is only OK, though. Haven't been impressed by flat whites or the mochas.
Quite a lot of seating, though, so that's really good if you want to sit down, chat or read. Just be prepared to queue for a bit during lunch hours...
I will go wherever Monmouth coffee is brewed and that includes this place. No wonder you will see a long line in this corner of Lincoln's inn fields street (near Queen Mary School of Law). Their iced latte is really good on a sunny day and it will be even more perfect with a slice of hummingbird or carrot cake.
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Kingsway, Fleet River Bakery is a solid go-to for a fantastic coffee in the Holborn area. Although, as previous Yelpers have stated, the queue can be a bit much, so don't come here if you're in a rush.
Follow the little walkaway past the baristas, leading you to 2 rooms with plenty of places to sit and work or read for a while. Free WiFi included.
I've not really eaten here before, but the food looks okay. Solid coffee shop fare.
Fleet River Bakery is interestingly named, since I almost never think of them as an actual bakery.
Oh sure, they bake, and they have some desserts, but they've never overly impressed me (they're fine, laid out in kind of a hodge-podge kind of manor with handwritten hard to read signs. The cookie I had once was pretty good.)
But no, this a cafe, hands down, and a charming one at that.
Great sandwiches, great salads, great coffee, friendly staff. It's a small shop but if you can get something to eat here and take it to go (or sit in the bottom level), you are a happy guy. Just note what every other reviewer has ever said - they move so slow you can feel the line growing behind you and it takes forever. But my god is it worth it.
One of London's hidden spots... even if it will never really be a bakery to me.
Coffee with granola+yogurt. Can't go wrong. Super cute place. Perfect for starting out your day in peace and quiet so you can mentally prepare and organize the long day ahead.
Tons of memories here!
I love this place, charming one. And nice location. Their scrambled eggs are just delicious and their coffee is one of the best I've tested in London so far.
Come to this beautiful if you just want to relax ;)
This is a great place for a nice lunch during a working day.
Either take away or sit in, you get the choice between salads, soup, toastie, frittata, quiche or sandwiches and of course a bunch of sweet stuff.
It's all good and tasty, and the atmosphere of the place is quite relaxing.
Quite a few people seem to work a bit there as they have their laptops open.
It looks also like coffee is great, but I have yet to taste it as I went each time for food until now.
When my former self went to school just around the corner from 71 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Fleet River Bakery was not in existence. MY FORMER SELF IS PISSED.
Good thing my present-day self can go with some regularity, too.
Ok, sure, there are a few comments in the Yelp reviews about service. And, specifically: long queues because things kindof move like molasses. These comments are not *wrong*, per se. But, citing my most recent visit as example: who cares? It might take a little longer, but I'm listening to Otis Redding (great music choice, y'all), looking at some vibrant daffodils (spring stay a while, wouldya?) and ogling baked goods as I'm trying to be restrained (fail). Not SUCH a worst case scenario, you know?
Also: MY FLAT WHITE COMES WITH FOAM-ART YOU GUYZ. Double bonus.
I like that Fleet River looks like a tiny tucked-away spot but actually has a lot of seating below-ground. Choose your time wisely (see: not lunch) and you get a table and work away, as needed.
I've never eaten full meals here, but I am a fun of bacon butties and fresh fruity muesli.
Bottom line: Fleet River might actually be a 3.5 instead of 4, but the Otis Redding really pushed up that extra .5
Yelp note: coffee is Monmouth!
Bakery of dreams!
I love Fleet River Bakery. It is one of my favourite places to go in the City. During the week, for lunch, there is a line up coming out of the door, in the gray, cold London rain because it is delicious.
They have a variety of Quiche with salad. Its healthy, filing and delicious.
It also features a specialty hot chocolate. The week I was there beer flavored hot chocolate. It sounds iffy but it was absolutely delicious!
The atmosphere is very relaxed as lots of students hang out and study there.
If you are in the area it is a must try.
I enjoyed a delicious cake they served. I love the
ambiance, and many people came in for
meals. Honestly, this coffee shop is just as perfect as you've heard
people say it. It is good most if you
actual see it.
I am a huge Fleet River's fan because it is an elegant place
for a meeting with coffee and great sweet course. The decorations of the
restaurant are simply elegant also. I wanted to get so much more out of
this place. I enjoyed a delicious cake they served. I love the ambiance, and
many people came in for meals.
Nice little place discovered by my mama and passed onto me for future London adventures. We visited on a Saturday and, despite my mother's best intentions (i.e. dragging me down an alleyway) we managed to find it a-okay.
Atmsophere instantly hit me as very Northern Quarter Manchester; small but friendly, lots of wood around, and a seating arrangement that makes you become best friends with everyone around you. Not everyone's cup of tea, but it really does make the best out of the small space Fleet River has to work with. Service was okay, a bit slow considering it wasn't very busy when we popped in, and the small layout doesn't do the queuing any favours. I had some boring tea, not a coffee drinker just yet, and a jammy flapjack. Now, I don't enjoy blowing my own trumpet, but I make some damn good flapjacks and seem to have potentially spoiled myself into never being able to eat them from a coffee shop ever again. Sadly, my square of oaty goodness was solid and the jam all clumped into one area. Anyone who reads my reviews knows I enjoy a good sugar rush and this gave me just that, just a hard lumpy one.
I am drawn between 3 and 4 stars as I am sure I'll visit again as the atmosphere was great but my choice of cake was a bit of a let down. Lesson learnt, I'll just have to try everything else on the menu.
That is what my taste buds and tummy scream in classic chocolate craving cacophony each time I pass Fleet River, whether it be at their brick and mortar Holborn location or one of their many market stalls.
Bitter sweet and oh so fabulous, somehow Fleet River Bakery has managed to perfect the perfect brownie. Just the right amount of "crunchy around the corners, moist in the middle" action that always seems to edge on one side or the other.
Sure there's bread and cake and sandwiches and breakfasts and coffee, but the brownies, oh the brownies. Skip anything even relatively healthy and go for the brownie. Trust. I don't even like chocolate, and I would kill for one of these morsels of amazingness.
Just for good measure, I'll say it a bit more clearly: perfectly perfected brownie of perfect brownie perfection. Perfect.
After a holiday in the South of France London did not feel good this morning. The pallid weather, the lukewarm people and the familiarity were not making me excited. Fortuitously I had a meeting in Holborn and went to Fleet Street River Bakery; one unctuous carrot cake and pitch perfect flat white later I was healed.
This is the reason I love London, it keeps a-changing and the places to try keep a-coming.
Tip - it isn't quite what you would call on Lincoln's Inn Fields but is off the passage up to Holborn on the North West corner of it (i.e. on the way to the tube).
Price - £4.20 for a flattie and cake
I have to second Natalie's emotion on this tasty backstreet bakery. I would say, "The sandwiches are slap your momma good," but I'd never slap my mom, so suffice it to say, after I ate my sandwich yesterday, I had to return to the bakery to tell them how good it was. And I'm plotting to go back today for another.
I had the turkey/brie/cranberry a while back and thought it was good. But my latest fave is the goat cheese/pesto/sundried tomato. It also had rocket, but seriously, isn't rocket just a weed? In any case, the artisan olive bread didn't overwhelm and the ingredients were balanced.
And I even had a brownie with huge walnuts just to make sure I indulged myself.
The baked goods might be divine.
The food might be tastily above average.
But the service is shit. Certifiably, undeniably shit. The shittiest of shit.
The tables aren't cleaned; the queue stretches out the door, not because Fleet River Bakery is THAT good but because the service is so slow; and it is NOT okay to leave me standing at the register for nigh-on a minute-and-a-half with a boxed chocolate torte waiting to hand you my £3 while you merely disregard the fact that I exist.
I might love the cakes and enjoy the lunch food, but I probably won't ever be going back to Fleet River Bakery now, because I don't really enjoy waiting without justification and dining amongst dirty plates left behind by long-since-departed diners.
I LOVE this place. Great coffee, overly tempting pastries, and nice wines.
There's a bit of outdoor seating, and if that's taken, you can always wander to Lincoln's Inn Fields across the street.
Pro-tip: Go to Fleet River, eat something, have a coffee, wander around Lincoln's Inn, and then head 50 meters east to the Sloane Museum (soane.org) - you won't be disappointed.
Forget the coffee this place is all about the cake. Homemade and delicious, the array for sweet and savory treats out to choose from made my eyes bigger than belly as I ordered a fat chunk of banana cake.
I totally came to this place for the coffee and ended up loving it as a bakery and tea rooms. Proper loose tea in tea pots with friendly service sat inside or out. Very civilised! I also noticed you could toast your own bread in the morning with a variety of spreads - what a fantastic idea.
Now this place was tricky to find and no the don't do filter coffee but the coffee they do serve is Monmouth and as always, great quality. Will totally be going back but possibly for lunch - their sandwiches looked fab!
I went to Fleet River Bakery with a large group of friends and it was a cute place for brunch, if a little bit crowded. The set-up was kind of awkward, as the counter we ordered from was not even in sight of the seating. Food was brought to us, but drinks we carried ourselves down a small staircase and up again to reach the tables. The only way we could get the attention of the employees was to find them on the register side. In any case, service was friendly enough and there were no real problems arising from the space. It was a bit of a task to find a table for seven, but that's true at a lot of places.
My complaint, though, is with the food. I ordered the eggs royale - poached eggs topped with smoked salmon and hollandaise on English muffin. The muffin was fine, as was the salmon, but the poached eggs were atrocious. Let me rephrase - they were edible, but they did not resemble any poached egg that I've ever seen. Not only were the whites stiff, but the yolks were solid. The best part of a poached egg is the way that the yolk runs when cut. The best part of this one was that I was able to scrape the yolk out whole and thus avoid the calores. As I ordered the hollandaise on the side, I at least got a healthy brunch for my £7.50.
I also filched some of Matt B.'s waffle and pancake (they discovered while preparing his order for waffles that they only had one waffle left - how is this possible if you have basic ingredients and a waffle iron?). The waffle was very sugary and the pancake mushy and mealy.
I could see using Fleet River Bakery as a coffee joint, as they do serve a decent latte and the atmosphere is kind of busy and fun, with constant clinking in the air. As for the food, though, I'd say I probably wouldn't go back if the place were in my backyard. If I can't trust a breakfast nook to make better eggs than I can, why would I bother throwing money in its direction?
This is a great find tucked away near Holborn tube.
Good coffee..great cakes and pastries. ..friendly staff.
I am writing this immediately to give you an idea of the atmosphere. It is busy with people chatting and typing and enjoying the wifi the coffee and the food. The cakes are to die for.....
However the best thing that I have ever seen in a cafe is here - a toaster so that you can make your own toast - oh and help yourself to jam and butter!
Cannot get better than that - and this week they are having a hot chocolate festival....
Fleet River Bakery, you are divine. I love you.
This is a big hangout and study spot for a lot of LSEers. They have wifi (though sometimes its not working). I love their caffe lattes-- they use 4% milk, so it's divinely creamy and wonderful. Their food is great, and I think some of their baked goods come from Hummingbird Bakery. They just finished a hot chocolate festival, and also have wine (which you can takeout).
They also have two other seating rooms downstairs and to the back, so there's plenty of space. The only thing might be that they tend to get a bit crowded and busy sometimes, but well worth the wait.
Okay okay, I want to write a poem to this cupcake. Stem ginger with butterscotch frosting.
As a frequenter of all the trendiest NY/SF/DC cupcakeries, I'm willing to give them all up to eat this every time.
Cake: moist, fresh, flavorful without being too overpowering, perfect texture
Frosting: creamy, fresh without all the processed junk, soft and spreadable
Ratio of the two: perfection, you can get a nice cross section in every bite.
Easy to get out of the wrapper, but I wouldn't even mind getting my fingers messy for this one.
Also, the food is amazing, the portions are large, and there is a good variety and selection every day. I mostly eat the food here, but I really want to wax lyrical about the cupcake.
The service is friendly, especially by British standards. I asked about this ginger cupcake because I had watched the blog updates and they weren't ready yet, but the girl at the counter went down to fetch a single one for me (rather than have me wait for the entire batch to be brought up). And it was soooo worth it.
I'm pretty much in love with this place and, luckily for me, it's right on my way to work (not so lucky for my wallet, though, because the prospect of a perfect flat white or soy latte in the morning is just sooo tempting).
The coffee here is really good, soy milk is available, and every time I've been here the service has been really great - I've always felt very welcome here. For lunch they have delicious soup with home-made bread (£4), as well as a variety of sandwiches, salads, and, of course, cakes. There are a few vegan options available, albeit not very many (otherwise I'd happily give five stars).
I really like the layout and design of the space, too. While it can get somewhat crowded in the entrance room around lunch-time, there is plenty of space in the back and downstairs. Nice wooden furniture (the tables are made out of recycled doors, which is a nice touch, I think), there are some beautiful photographs on the walls, and the whole places feels really warm and cosy. There are even some comfy armchairs downstairs. Plus, there is free Wi-Wi (and they don't seem to mind if you hang out there for hours) and nice music. What's not to love?
Everything a bakery should be: Fresh selection of baked goods with the added benefit of fresh salads, deli products and quality teas, coffees and fruit juices. I got a HUGE turkey, brie, cranberry and rocket sandwich and a slice of tropical fruit cake for a fiver! The queue is always long so block out about an hour for lunch, including the fifteen well-worth-it minutes you'll spend waiting. Time passes by anyway as both the staff and the clientele tend to be pretty good looking ;)
AND it's right next to Lincoln's Inn Fields so you can enjoy your meal in the park during those rare sunny summer days OR you could take advantage of the bakery's cozy indoor seating for those cold, winter days.
Here's a little ditty
About a small cafe that's not too far from the City
Fleet River Bakery is a kitschy place
To stop, if you're feeling peckish or would like a small taste
Flat White made with Monmouth, I was sold
Drinking it was like sipping on liquid gold
Cute barista, he was in a good mood
Though the guy behind the counter had a sour attitude
Wasn't up for dealing with The Dour Dude (TDD)
It was too early to be so rude
Regardless, I generally find this place alright
Not anything spectacular, not really a sight.
I don't understand why the queue's out of the door.
The food is not all that, the service consistently poor.
Dear Yelper, I just don't get the hype
And to be honest find it quite overpriced
And for such serious poundage, you'd expect the waiters to be nice
But at least the barista didn't have a 'tude so chilly, it was on ice
The breakfast and treats are not out of this world
Though, I've never had anything that would have made me hurl.
So I'll leave FRB to the LSE crew
Though I used to be, admittedly, one of them too.
Not too cheap.
But not too spendy.
VERY good coffee, totally decent tea, GREAT bread, generally lovely food.
It's a nice place to meet up folks, though perhaps not for the faint of hearing as it does get quite loud.
I am personally in love with the old doors-used-as-tables concept, which is something I did in my house once, when doors and sheets of glass were easy to come by.
And the people? They're nice. They give a feck. They treat you like a human being.
So it's worth the step up, if you've got the time.
Take-away lunch review:
Every day for a week, while writing essays, we came to Fleet River for take-away lunch and ate in the adjacent park. The line is usually out the door and the staff isn't OVERLY concerned about it (they're quick...ish), but the system seems to work- about 10 minutes from entry to exit. Same goes for just coffee, though, so not recommended for a grab-and-go coffee fix if you're on limited time. You might be unlucky.
The reason for the 5* is this: the prices are so, so completely fair. For £7ish, you get an entree and salad. Okay. But the entrees change daily- there are always multiple vegetarian quiche/fritatta type items, plus one with meat, some kind of toasted sandwich, a random entree of some kind (baked salmon, caprese flatbread, ect) and everything is really tasty, interesting and fresh and of more than generous portions (especially the egg dishes). Then the salad could be an entire, well rounded meal by itself. It's a mix of three- a green leaf, one vegetable based (from beets to butternut) and one with a grain (couscous, thai noodle). In combination with the entree, you leave with a HUGE, fresh lunch at a significantly better value than a chain take-away.
Plus, you can get a Monmouth coffee (and they do ICED COFFEE- my precious) and really great cake. One of the girls got cake daily (we must self motivate for these essays) and they were always really great. She had some kind of a plum & apple crumble that was just top notch- complexity of flavors you almost forget is possible when used to mediocre sweets, the right balance of crumbly & chewy- I was absolutely impressed. And I had a ginger cake that was also just really, really top quality with ginger flavor that lingers and a frosting free of oily junk.
Finally a place with baristas who know how to make some damn good coffee!
Excellent flat white and cappuccinos. The staff is really chill and friendly. They also have a nice variety of loose leaf teas which I appreciate.
The cafe is located right near to my work so I often pop over afterwards to have a coffee or tea and use the free wifi. There's always a lot of people catching up with friends so it's been a friendly relaxed atmosphere every time I've gone in.
Their cakes look spectacular, but I haven't had one yet so I will have to do so on my next visit.
The veg sausage breakfast sandwich with rocket and chili jam is simple and tasty. Free wi-fi and warm lighting make for a nice study area in the alcove downstairs. During lunch, there is always a line out the door, but understandably so as the quiches with two side salads lunch special is always a winner. Baked goods are all so tasty with the exception of the jam flapjack. Soya milk available; now if only they could introduce a student discount for all us LSE folk!
This place is lovely. Yes the queues are annoying but everywhere in the area has a queue at lunchtime.
The food and snacks are nice, they brew good Monmouth coffee and bake lovely cakes.
There's quite a large seating area next door too, so as long as you avoid the lunchtime rush you can almost always find a place to sit, and in the summer you don't have to look for one as it's right next to Lincoln's Inn Fields.
I am in love with this place. I love the space, the high ceilings, the coffee bar at the back, the chalkboard with the handwritten specials. More importantly I loved the big plates filled with sumptuous, gorgeous, unique salads and I am still obsessing over the light and delicious cauliflower quiche with the unbelievable crust and the amazing cauliflower, bean and rocket salad and the wonderful cole slaw and yes the price was more than I expected but the portions were amazingly generous. Yes, I l cannot get enough of cauliflower. Not to mention my eyes popped out of their sockets at the cupcakes but willpower won out that day.
Service could have been better but who the eff cares when you have such an amazing spread of salads, quiches, desserts and atmosphere?
I love you--you are my new fave. xoxo
On any given day, you'll find the place flooded with lawyers and students - THE coffee shop for them to go to grab a quick bite or coffee.
Coffee and food prices are fair, but the pastries I find to be on the pricey side. The clotted cream scones are hit/miss, but the chocolate torte is VERY good but also very heavy. Coffee cake is amazing!
Oh, and if you're getting the yogurt and fruit compote, you're better off eating it in the park. £3.50 approx for yogurt and fruit?! THAT's ridiculous.
I really do love the sandwiches from here and some of the cake selection, but the staff could be a bit friendlier. It's funny how quickly the attitude changes when one of their mates walk in - they become jovial and actually smile!
But...if you're an LSE student, ask for the "student discount". They don't always check your ID, but have it in case. Definitely eases the damage.
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