The London cafenatic’s Tour de France is a kilometre long, with no hills or turns from start to finish. It departs from look mum no hands, a garagehouse coffee shop at 49 Old St, and arrives at Rapha Cycle Club, a pop-up gallery, boutique and coffee bar at 146-148 Clerkenwell Rd.
Open for the summer only and not-to-be-missed by coffee, cycle and design geeks alike, Rapha Cycle Club is a modern showroom dominated by a long communal reading table and a gray Citroen voiture balai – the broom wagon that would follow riders up the steepest descents of the Tour de France and sweep up those who dropped off along the way.
To the right is a boutique displaying books and Rapha cycling gear as stylish as it is pricey. Behind it is a coffee bar with Matt from Nude Espresso pulling shots of a full-bodied custom blend roasted by Nude . Downstairs is an exhibition space with vintage racing bikes and jerseys celebrating the centenary of the Col du Tourmalet, one of the most famous climbs of the Tour de France.
look mum no hands is here for the long haul and how fortunate for us that it is. Inside and out this is one of the most spacious, relaxed and coolest coffeehouses around. It’s so easygoing and the coffee, from the London roaster Square Mile, so good you’ll be tempted to claim a regular spot for yourself and order business cards listing 49 Old Street as your office address.