Until a couple of years ago, I considered that the very best coffee served in London could only be found in a few coffee bars, all of which were Italian (e.g. Bar Italia, Lina Stores, and The Algerian Coffee House in Soho; the Portobello Garden Café in Portobello Road), Portuguese (e.g. Lisboa Café in Golborne Road and Madeira Star in Lambeth), or Spanish (e.g. Brindisa near Borough Market). I still consider all of these as good choices for excellent coffee, but need to add another to my list.
A Polish born receptionist working at the dental practice where I used to practise dentistry, suggested that a restaurant in Ealing called ‘Sowa’ (means ‘owl’ in Polish) served good Polish food. We visited this place, but were not impressed by the food. Much better Polish food can be obtained at Café Maja in POSK, the Polish Centre in King Street, Hammersmith.
The well-appointed restaurant at Sowa adjoins a café, which is part of the same establishment. Unlike the restaurant that fails to shine, the café is magnificent. The coffee served here in all forms (espresso, cappuccino, latte, etc.) is at least as good as that we have drunk in the best of the Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish coffee houses in London. Having visited Sowa too many times to remember, I can safely say that the high quality of its coffee never wavers.
Sowa’s café also offers a mouth-watering range of highly tempting pastries and cakes. It seems in general that the Polish have a magical touch when it comes to making these delightful accompaniments to coffee.
So, if you are in Ealing, ignore every other café, and head for Sowa.
PS: Next door to Sowa, there is a lovely Polish delicatessen that offers a wide range of salamis, hams, and other cooked meats, as well as other Polish food items.
Sowa: 33 High St, London W5 5DB
NB: I have no interest financial or otherwise in Sowa. I am simply a content customer!