As some of you know I’m a wee bit patriotic when it comes to where I buy my cappuccino’s from in London. I refuse all chain coffee shops, because EW bad coffee, and I favour kiwi owned cafes, because YAY great coffee. (Okay I also support Aussie coffee shops, that must be the small amount of Australian in me from my grandmothers side of the family hah!)
So when I’m invited to the pre-opening of Kiss the Hippo, a non-Antipodean cafe based in Richmond, London, I of course accept, but I head along with a decent amount of skepticism. Let me start with the fact that I’ve actually been back for coffee since my first visit, so I think that gives you a clear idea that this review is a positive one. When I stepped inside Kiss the Hippo, two things happened. I marvelled at the interior and was welcomed by the charming and knowledgeable owner.
The interior. OMG. It’s actually like no other place I’ve seen in London. Firstly, it’s LIGHT, thanks to the interiors colours and also the giant sky light flooding the ground floor cafe with sun. My pet peeve about London buildings and homes is the darkness. So this was a big tick for me, walking into a place that felt light, bright and happy. Not only that, the interior is so chic! It feels like a mix between a coffee shop you’d find in Tokyo or Santa Monica.
The coffee. Wow. Kiss the Hippo have their own roastery in the back of the cafe and I’m told the roaster is the rolls royce of roasters. And I believe them. It looked shiny and spectacular. The coffee I drank a short while later was unbelievably good. I always have almond milk in my coffee, and when they told me they source their nut milk from a UK specialist, my skepticism on just how good it would be rose up again. I mean, almond milk usually falls into two categories: gritty and overpowering, or watery. Kiss the Hippo’s almond milk was neither of these things, in fact it tasted like actual milk, and the barista even managed to get proper foam on top of the coffee, a rare thing with almond milk!
The cafe serves delicious food too. Everything from breakfast to lunch, indulgent to diet friendly. Us gluten free lot are catered for there too. Big win! Another big win that I think most of us are becoming quite aware of, is the need for recycling. Kiss the Hippo’s straws, cups, containers and cutlery are all compostable, whilst the plastic used is both recyclable and recycled. I love this, and that alone makes me want to return to their cafe.
If you’re looking for a spot for a quiet coffee, a business lunch, or perhaps some training – yep they even have a workshop space for this!, then you must do yourself a favour and pop into Kiss the Hippo at 50 George Street, Richmond, London TW9 1HJ.