The Elgin seems to be a popular name in West London. At first, I thought The Elgin over in Maida Vale was under the same umbrella as The Elgin pub in Notting Hill, so when a friend suggested the Maida Vale location for a coffee, I was very confused. Pubs don’t scream good coffee to me. Once I arrived at the Maida Vale Elgin, however, I realized the two corner spots are very different from one another. The name, which apparently means “white” (strange), is about all these locations have in common. The Notting Hill pub is just that. A pub that serves your typical pints to all types of neighborhood folk. (Though I have yet to pop in since it’s latest renovation.) But, the focus of the post today, is a young cafe by day and a cool gastropub by night.
When I first walked in for my coffee date, I found the cafe’s open space refreshing. It was filled with subway tiles, exposed brick walls, metal stools, and bistro chairs. It had the feeling of an airy, NYC loft. Most tables were occupied by well-dressed singletons that were focusing on some version of an Apple device. MacBook Pros, Airs, iPads–seriously every last person was staring into the digital world in front of them. I liked it. I followed suit and took my iPhone out while I waited for the rest of my party.
While waiting, the friendliest server ever came over and took my order for a cappuccino. He told me about the place, explained that it had no relation to the Notting Hill Elgin, which was super obvious at that point, and told me what pastries he had that day. I settled nicely into a corner of the restaurant and sipped my coffee.
While people-watching freelance workers and sales folk in between meetings, and maybe a college guy’s study session, my group arrived and joined me in the front corner. Though we did feel like we were intruding on all the other tables’ quiet time by all our catch-up time cackling during, we still felt comfortable at The Elgin.
While I can’t speak for those other patrons that may have hated us, I can say the venue was a good choice for us and we look forward to heading back next month for our standing group date. Our numbers vary, so a place like The Elgin is an easy spot for just a few of us, or sometimes more, for girl talk over coffees, teas, and pain au chocolats. So, whether you’re in a little group, or someone looking for a spot to chill (with or without a Mac) walk right past the Maida Vale Starbucks and head to The Elgin on the corner. Enjoy!
255 Elgin Avenue
London W9 1NJ