At the back of a row of posh terraced houses in Bloomsbury is a small comfortable cafe – inside the Charles Dickens Museum.

It’s in the house next door to where Charles Dickens lived, and is now the overflow space for the museum which expanded into it in 2012. Before that, there used to be a small kitchen space at the rear of the author’s own home, but barely large enough to swing the proverbial cat in.

Now, they have a full scale cafe space, with, in warmer months, a large back garden.

Laid out in a modern but comfortable style, the range of food is modest as this is more cafe than restaurant, and more accurately reflects the main customer base, who are going to be visiting “all the museums” in one tourist hit.

Your correspondent was ambling around the area one cold mid-morning and popped in for a coffee break.

The museum is pay to visit, but it’s not widely known that the cafe, behind those heavy front doors, is actually open to anyone to visit without going into the museum as well.

When visiting, do notice the hole in the floor, but do not say “please sir can I have some more” as I am sure they’ve heard that joke a million times already.

The choice for elevenses was coffee and scone — which they asked if I wanted to be warmed. I said not, and it’s table service.

When arrived, turned out they had warmed the scone, and now I am pleased they did as I usually only eat warmed scones when baking them myself as an impatient fool, but this time it really worked well. Not to mention, it helped the butter melt easily.

Around the corner, some Australians on their last day in London were trying to use up their final coins in the cafe and behind, a glass window gave a glimpse into the museum as people wandered around the corridor.


Cost: £5 for coffee and scone

Stars: 4 out of 5

Date: 27th October 2019

Summary: A good scone, decent coffee, and a relaxing place to sit for a short break from all that walking.

Garden Cafe


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