Five must-visit cafés in Bermondsey

Posted 27/03/2023

Ecole, our new collection of homes in SE16, is located in the heart of Bermondsey, one of the most loved areas of South London. Since its reincarnation from industrial hub of the 80s to a calm but vibrant neighbourhood of independent shops, cafés and creative spaces, Bermondsey has been quietly emerging as one of London’s best places to live – and caffeinate.

As though blown in from trendy nearby Borough, Bermondsey offers some of the coolest coffee shops in London, without the swathes of market-goers getting between you and your cold brew. So, whether you’re looking for a new, local co-working café or somewhere to indulge your coffee snobbery, Bermondsey has the perfect coffee shop for you. Read on for our top picks.

The Watchhouse

Step into the tiny octagonal tower on the corner of St Mary Magdalen's Churchyard and enjoy a much more pleasant time than its 19th century inhabitants. Built to house guards to watch for grave robbers, the focus is now all about organic, seasonal produce used to make delicious homemade bites and modern, speciality coffee. The character-filled space only seats ten but do as the locals do and take your cup of choice (they have it all) and a breakfast roll or warm pastry (vegan available) to enjoy on a bench in the graveyard just outside.


The earthy tones, huge windows and open space of Shaman make it the perfect place to grab a coffee and get productive. With many cafés banning laptop use or charging a premium for the privilege, those who WFH and want a change of scene can spend an afternoon in this creative, light-filled space that celebrates wellness through coffee, co-working and community. Nestle into a comfy seat, order one of their signature bulletproof coffees said to boost focus and get to work. The co-working is free, you don’t have to book, and no one’s going to kick you out before your coffee is cold.

Chapter 72

If you’re looking for Chapter 72, you might see the queue of converts lining the pavement first. Owned by an award-winning mixologist with a passion for great, ethically sourced coffee, this relaxed gem occupying the ground floor of a beautiful Georgian house is the perfect place to wet your whistle, whether it’s a macchiato or a martini you’re after. If you’re hungry, their pastries are a highlight, with options like pork and sage sausage rolls and pistachio baklava to keep you going from day to night.

The Bermondsey Garden

An unfussy lunchtime haunt that champions healthy, fresh food and doesn’t skimp on flavour. Hearty sandwiches and colourful salads reign supreme, many of which are vegetarian or vegan, so much so that patrons could be forgiven for thinking Ottolenghi himself was working in the kitchen. Its prime location, outdoor seating and floor-to-ceiling windows make it a coveted sun trap during summer, the perfect excuse to stop for coffee and brunch.

Crol & Co

Once an old, neglected betting shop, this rustic coffee and antique shop hybrid is brimming with Victorian charm, boasting original brickwork and other eye-catching character features. Take a load off on antique school chairs while sipping speciality coffee by day and delicious cocktails, wines and craft beers by night. Located on the cycle quiet way between Waterloo and Greenwich, Crol & Co is a perfect pit-stop for hungry cyclists in need of a boost. Grab a sunny perch out front and fuel up for the day with their renowned breakfast.

Few London postcodes offer the youthful buzz, quality of independent bars, cafés and restaurants, green space, and laid-back atmosphere of Bermondsey. Still central but away from the mayhem, people from all walks of life are noticing the appeal of living in one of London’s best kept secrets.

Find out more about Ecole in Bermondsey, our collection of 30 private studio, one and two bedroom apartments, and two and three bedroom duplexes, here.