Stepping off the tube at Oxford Circus is an ordeal that occasionally requires therapy. The crowds of tourists, taking selfies outside Topshop; the steel pan musicians, providing a soundtrack to the street; the Hari Krishna’s parading with their instruments – this is a flippin’ busy place.
Rather than negotiate the heaving throngs of people, or barge your way into a shop/cafe of your choosing, I suggest wandering down Little Argyll Street, which will take you to the (hopefully) quieter, and (definitely) cooler Carnaby Street.
Don’t be lured in by the Starbucks or Pret which grace the beginning of this iconic street: hold tight a few minutes longer and turn down Ganton Street, making your way to the haven that is Sacred.
Granted, a caffeine hit here may set you back a few more pennies than your usual latte at a chain, but it is most definitely worth it. The coffee is rich and velvety, the decor cool and quirky (take a look downstairs…), and they even do cocktails if you’re feeling truly traumatised by your brief foray down the Street of Streets. In fact, I bet their Espresso Martini is something else (note to self: try this next time).
Friendly service provides a welcome change to other cafes you may frequent, and the fact you can sit outside (should this British weather ever offer some relief from the cold/wet) means that this little gem is a perfect stop off.
If coffee’s not your thang, their loose leaf tea selection and incredible antique teapots are an experience. If tummies are rumbling, there are various nibbles to be had (I’ve been reassured their tapas board is a winner). Sit back, delight in the SACRED atmosphere, take in some proper coffee, and try to pluck up the courage to tackle the busy streets.
*disclaimer: PTSD therapy not supplied following a trip to Oxford Street