London Life Coffee Shops

52a coffee house

January 31, 2013

Greetings. Today i’m going to introduce you to a charming new place: 52a coffee house.

The other day, while out on my vespa looking for properties, i stumbled upon a rather interesting place that opened barely 1 month ago. In need of shelter from the wet and feeling de-hydrated, this was just the ticket!

I was intrigued by the exterior, which looked rather different.


There were 2 entrances and i quickly peaked through the window to decide whether to make a pit-stop or not. I’m pleased to say, i was pleasantly surprised. Meet salma (facing) and esra (busy at the back). Of course, you can hardly see them, but that’s just what they wanted. I always like to respect people’s wishes:-)


52a coffee house is a little bijoux in southgate road, n1. The premises were empty for 20 years (yep!) and before that it used to be a newsagent. How wonderful that 2 young female entrepreneurs had a vision and transformed this space into something vibrant.



Salma has a background in fashion and esra in media, skills which are handy for this joint venture. I loved the simple interiors with great touches of antiques and contemporary pieces and it certainly reflects both their personalities.


I rather liked this exposed brick wall and this funky table top.



What better way to spent the afternoon than with their free wifi and some interesting reading. I was rather impressed with their choices of books and magazines. Girls after my own heart!




With both families being turkish and owning restaurants, it’s no wonder that food comes natural to the owners. They pick what they like, favouring, for example, fairtrade coffee (arabica beans), mixed from 15 countries.

Check out the mini milk bottles. Cute or what?



Some home-made orange & quince jam. I was told by salma that they do a fierce mulberry molasses & sesame paste mix with toasted bread, which sadly was all sold out.


The point for me is that everything is considered, thought through and stems from the love of food and honest produce. But of course, there are also some yummy chocolate cups, meringues and muffins.



2 things i wanted to nick immediately. First off, this gorgeous fruit stand (here below) and secondly the basket which held the organic eggs.


Look at the patina on the wall. Magic, you couldn’t re-create it if you tried!


I loved how the light created these ring shadows on the eggs. Very pretty!


I’m not a coca cola fan but love the iconic glass bottles and typography.


A lovely sign just resting on the floor.


For the coffee addicts amongst you!


Don’t some of you dream of opening a little coffee and tea place? It always seems so romantic but I have a sneaky suspicion that it’s actually quite hard work!

I wish selma and esra all the best of luck and no doubt will pop in next time i’m in the area.

Hope everyone had a good week and is looking forward to the weekend. I don’t know about you, but i really feel spring is in the air. For those of you travelling to meettheblogger stockholm, wrap up warm and enjoy yourselves! I look forward to hearing all about it. See you monday. I’m excited as we have another dose of vive la différence… it’s a corker!!

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  • Reply Igor January 31, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Definitely a place I would like to visit next time I’m in town:-) Great pics as usual, Tina!!!

    • Reply tina February 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      There are far too many places for you to visit in London and also the ones I show are a bit off the beaten track:-)
      Thanks Igor!

  • Reply Louise de Miranda January 31, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    OK let’s go there! What a lovely place! Ín times when Starbucks is taking over every street, I admire small businesses like this one who offer authenticity and create a cozy place to have a real cup of coffee without cream and syrup. Don’t get me wrong, I like my Starbucks every now and then, but this is the real stuff!

    • Reply tina February 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      I thought Starbucks is on the way down… do people still go there;-)

      Please don’t tell me you like that crap Starbuck serves. I might need to terminate our friendship with immediate effect:-) xx

  • Reply Michaela January 31, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Tina where do you find all these amazing places? – You are turning into the ultimate girl about town!! I’ve got a list as long as my arm of places I need to visit when I next come to London now, heheh! 🙂 xxx

    • Reply tina February 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      The girl about town on a Vespa:-) Do come and visit so I can finally meet you xx

  • Reply Ingrid February 1, 2013 at 1:20 am

    Love this post TIna. Wish I could visit right now- I feel like a coffee!
    Great shots getting in the details, the egg basket, wall patina etc,
    Have a great weekend x i

    • Reply tina February 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      The shadows on the eggs were my favourite. Had to enlist a young man to hold the basket for me:-)
      That wall patina… just fabulous! best thing, you don’t need to do anything to it x

  • Reply Amberly February 1, 2013 at 8:21 am

    What a cute place! I love posts like this, a) because I like seeing style in public places and b) I’ve never been to London and this gives me a few minutes of vacation. 😉

    I really like that first shot of the door, I totally wouldn’t have known what to expect either. And those chocolate strawberry cups looks divine!

    • Reply tina February 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Hello Amberly. Thank you for stopping by. Wow! Just had a look at your recent post. 1oo things to get accomplished in the next 3 years…. wow.. good luck with it!

      Thank you. I hope you get a chance to visit London.. there is much inspiration here!

      Those strawberry cups…. yum!

  • Reply parisbreakfast February 1, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Fabulously eclectic and only found in the UK IMHO
    Wonderful that you find these places while working
    Love the ‘fierce’ jam referred to.
    Bonne Week-End Tina

    • Reply tina February 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      Thank you Carol.

      You know it always brightens my already bright day to discover these gems. Having a Vespa helps:-) and spring/summer is coming Yay!

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey February 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I have certainly dreamed of opening my own coffee place Tina darling. Maybe one day.

    52a coffee house – it’s quirky and cute and such a little minx of a haven. Love it! Lots of great touches – the neon lights being a fav of mine. I wish both girls all the best with their new enterprise. Maybe they should open a second branch in Belfast 😉

    Thanks for finding and sharing. You’ll be getting a reputation for turning up at these new places and doing a blog spot 🙂 xx

    • Reply tina February 4, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      I can just imagine you in a coffee shop full of your most precious belongings:-)

      The neon light was my fave and glad the photographs came out well!
      I’ll put the Belfast idea to them:-)

      That’s how I roll:-) xx

  • Reply Nicola February 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Fabulous photos and references as usual Tina, particularly the eggs. A real private discovery of a place, that other visitors would feel.

    And I love the neon sign xx

    • Reply tina February 4, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      I bought their eggs and they were delicious. Yes, it’s quite local to me and I was flat hunting on Friday next door so popped in again. Magic!

      Thanks love xx

  • Reply WeHeartHome February 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Fabulous spot you found! And love your pics – especially the last one 😉 and the second, because I love peeking into windows, lol.

    I would also love to open a coffee shop. I love to daydream about it, but as you said, it surely is a lot of work. Maybe a plan for the future. The idea of providing a cozy place where people feel good enough to hang out while drinking great beverages and snacking on some wholesome food … it gives me such a good feeling 🙂

    Xx. Holly.

    • Reply tina February 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks Holly.

      Opening a coffee shop in Berlin must be the ultimate dream. I just love them there…
      who knows, maybe one day we will xx

  • Reply Alison Sye February 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Salma and Esra have a great ‘eye’, this place looks exquisite – and I wish them all the luck in the world.
    That sourdough with cherries!

    • Reply tina February 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      They do have a really good eye and are lovely young women.

  • Reply Anya Jensen February 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Hi Tina, I love it when people are passionate about something. This place looks lovely and inviting. Happy weekend sweets, look forward to seeing what you get upto re. satc:-)

    • Reply tina February 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      I think you have to have complete passion when opening a coffee shop… but it must be so satisfying.

      By now you’ve seen the results xx

  • Reply Hollie@MiaFleur February 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    What a fantastic find Tina! I too have had romantic notions of opening a coffee shop, with gorgeous cakes and all manner of homemade loveliness! But, yes I think you’re right- it’s an awful lot more hardwork than it looks! I love finding new independant cafe’s and coffee shops, but unfortunately there’s a distinct lack of options in Leicester.

    The site of those chocolate cupcakes makes me want to go there.. NOW!!!

    • Reply tina February 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm

      Hi Hollie, nice to see you here!

      I recently heard that Newcastle has a new coffee scene. Maybe it will filter through to Leicester. I hope so for you as you clearly have good taste.

      They have lovely stuff. It all looks yummy!!
      Thank you.

  • Reply Catherine Bedson February 4, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Tina, what a gorgeous tea house..looks so cosy. I love the neon sign and the little milk bottles are so cute! I’d like to visit this place as well. Catherine xx

    • Reply tina February 4, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      The milk bottles come in this little crate of 6.. they were adorable!!
      And I also loved the neon sign.

      Thanks xx

  • Reply leah of sang the bird February 4, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    What a delightful discovery! I adore the little milk bottles and the egg basket! A lovely place to shelter from the weather xx

    • Reply tina February 5, 2013 at 2:23 am

      Can you imagine coming there with Miss S and us having tea together? Schemazing xx

  • Reply Martin Campbell @_campbellm February 1, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Liked this piece & the photos Tina. I wrote about this place recently on The London Writer’s Club website:

    • Reply tina February 4, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      Hi Martin,

      Thank you. Glad you found a coffee shop that inspires you to write:-)

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