Break Time at Illy
Well established since it first laid down roots as an esteemed coffee roaster in 1933, Illy, now on Regent Street (towards Oxford Circus) is fast becoming the go-to spot for delicious coffee and a quick bite to eat. Not only is the coffee rich, indulgent and of the highest quality (the coffee is roasted in Italy, after coming from growers in nine different countries across the globe), but Illy's food menu is also worth sampling.
Traditional Italian fare with a contemporary twist, the food here, like the café itself, is stylish and simple. Choose from a selection of indulgent desserts and sweet pastries to more savoury dishes. The menu includes pasta dishes and aubergine parmigiana as well as fresh and plentiful salads and sandwiches made to either eat in or take away. The food is served up fast, but the quality remains high - one of the brand's key values is to deliver colonial products like coffee, chocolate and tea to the very best quality.
The Illy café on Regent Street is incredibly well designed. Chic, sophisticated and modern (a recent collaboration with Samsung means the food boards are powered by the brand, and a huge screen displays a range of Illy products above the food counter), the space is well lit and full of character. A bold red and white colour scheme hints at Illy's Italian roots while an espresso cup installation hangs impressively, marking this spot out as the place to head to for a good shot of coffee - Italian style - in the West End.
Breakfast is served up all day at Illy, and you can choose from a savoury croissant with cheese and prosciutto to poached eggs or fruit salad, yoghurt and muesli. The Italians do sweet breakfasts best - and in this department, you're spoiled for choice. Filled doughnuts are a delight to partake in, especially the apricot jam sensation that we tried earlier today.
If dessert is what you're after, we recommend the tiramisu - the coffee is served hot in an espresso cup, on the side - giving customers the option to pour hot coffee on to their cool, creamy tiramisu. Illy are also the only café in London to serve up a Setteveli, a chocolate cake, made up of several moussey layers: thick, gluttonous and insanely good. We were advised to share as this award-winning dessert is rich, but for the sweet tooth, we'd say it's too good to share.
Be it a takeaway lunch to carry back to the office, a quick business meeting over coffee, or a lengthy catch-up with friends, Illy on Regent Street is a great spot to grab a good coffee and a tasty treat. From sandwiches and salads to the tastiest of desserts, Illy serves up a great flavour of Italy in London's West End.