[London] If you are in a trendy or well-populated part of central London and are looking for reliably good coffee and sandwiches, chances are you need not look further that Fernandez and Wells.
The coffee chain has outlets Denmark Street, Duke Street, Somerset House, and Exhibition Road which is the outlet I visited.
And there are a lot of them, all over London, drawing in crowds of people with their antipodean whiles and keeping them coming with delicious eats and great coffee.
Rick Wells and Jorge Fernandez first met in Monmouth coffee where Jorge worked at the time, and after starting a friendship opened their first Fernandez and Wells café in Soho in 2007.
Simple and humble beginnings in a Georgian house, have progressed and grown now to a point where the café has now become a household name in the London scene.
The branch is South Kensington is my personal favourite coffee spot after time spent in The Natural History or the V&A museums nearby, sometimes even after an afternoon spent strolling through Hyde Park.
A selection of pastries and sandwiches welcome you at the door, white wallpapered walls hold shelves of wine and coffee beans, and people, from students to tourists, are sat enjoying themselves in the warm atmosphere emanating great vibes.
If you need some eggs and omelettes, some of the offerings includes Fried Eggs with Za’atar (£5.50), Fried Eggs with Yoghurt and Harissa (£7), Taktouka (£9.50), Khlia Fried Eggs (£9), Fried Eggs with Chorizo Fresco (£8.50), and Fried Eggs with Black Pudding (£8.50).
If you walk through the café, past the counter and into the inner room, there is more seating to be had, with a couple of tables for larger groups and bars for people to sit up high.
I was initially tempted by the Almond Croissants (£2.95), the Pain Au Chocolats (£2.90) and the Lemon Cake (£4.50) but decided against them in the end, and went for the sandwich and coffee.
Both sandwiches were delightful and I think what made them so was the bread.
My artichoke and mortadella sandwich (£5.95) with mustard mayonnaise was made with a warm, floury Portuguese bun that cradled all the flavours and textures whilst still maintaining its own.
The basic ham and cheese (£5.45) was in a perfect ciabatta, with cheese melted and ham with a subtle cured and smoked savour.
Since it was rather hot that day, I sipped at a chilled cold brew coffee, still sweetly aromatic; while the milky Flat White was also decent.
Fernandez and Wells fits right into the thriving café scene in London simply because they successfully reproduce the kind of ambience contemporary clientele crave, while at the same time provide quality food and drink that force you, at times, to make a detour.
These guys focus on all the important facets of a great café, and thus easily becomes a spot highly recommended by a coffee addict such as myself.
Fernandez and Wells, South Kensington
8A Exhibition Rd, Kensington, London SW7 2HF
Opening Hours: 8am–11pm (Mon-Sat) 9am-8pm (Sun)
Google Maps – Fernandez and Wells, South Kensington
Fernandez & Wells Branches:
Denmark Street: 1-3 Denmark Street, WC2H 8LP
Duke Street: 55 Duke Street, W1K 5NR
Somerset House: Strand, WC2R 1LA
Other Related Entries
Monmouth Coffee Company (Covent Garden, London)
Flat White (Soho, London)
Workshop Coffee (Marylebone, London)
The Attendant (Fitzrovia, London)
Jacob the Angel (Covent Garden, London)
* Written by DFD’s London Food Correspondent Leander Dias SaltyCritic. Leander Dias was born and raised in Dubai, a burgeoning city with diverse food culture. Since moving to London to read for his English MA at UCL, he has utterly immersed himself in the local food scene, writing extensively about everything he eats everywhere he goes. Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.