Any follower of my Instagram will know that this is probably my most ‘regular’ coffee shop in which I frequent. I even used to visit this place before I even lived in London, as it used to be the place I’d meet with my sister for a cappuccino whenever I’d come and visit her at university. It’s safe to say that Local Hero for me is one of those sentimental coffee shops which have seen a lot of memories come and go alongside me, so I felt it fitting to sit down with one of their great coffees whilst writing this. If you’re not too big a fan of coffee, then you can also opt for a wide variety of teas and smoothies…
Climpson and Sons work closely with the coffee shop to supply a house espresso and filter roast, and I have yet to see these guys guest any other beans so they do like to stick with the classic. I’m an avid believer of if its not broken, don’t fix it, and I have to say that the Climpson and Sons espresso that they have chosen is my favourite espresso I have yet to taste in London…and I’ve tasted a lot!
With two coffee shops, one in Kingston upon Thames and the other in Fulham, Local Hero seems to have popped up in my two most frequented areas. The Fulham high street Local Hero, although I’ve only visited on several occasions, is much quieter than the Kingston one, whereas the latter is filled to the brim on most days at peak times. I seriously have a lot of respect for the baristas who work there as I’ve noticed they have to *sometimes* put up with a lot of stressful and frustrating situations (as someone who was pushed over the edge by the customers she faced in Fulham herself).
One thing I have to criticise about their menu is the sizings, or rather that of the flat white. Although our perceptions of a flat white differ from place to place and country to country, in all of my barista experience I’ve been trained to serve a double espresso in a fairly small (4oz-6oz cup) topped up with very flat but steamed milk with elaborate latte art gracing the top. However, I’ve noticed Local Hero allows the customer to choose their sizing of cup for all of their drink, and this includes the flat white. I understand that this is probably the most appealing for the kinds of customers around (Kingston isn’t really a coffee speciality area) and it probably reduces the amount of fuss in the transaction process. And I mean, in the grand scheme of things, if that is the largest peeve I have with the place, you can agree that this place is absolute heaven.
I have to admit though that this coffee shop does fall culprit to what I like to call a ‘gambling purchase’, as the quality of your coffee can vary dramatically in regards to which barista you have. I enjoy quite a wet cappuccino, the standard in most coffee shops in London, but some of the ‘newbies’ aren’t able to do this and therefore I’d like to have known this and would have simply ordered a latte instead. But keep up the good work, you guys, you’ll all get there in the end!
Lastly, I have to write about their stunning brunch menu. Although simple with their options and ingredients, I salute the variety of which they offer. I probably spend a good portion of my student loan on their yummy food and it’s safe to say they were the guys who first introduced me to the term “brunch” in the first place! I love the smashed avocado (but doesn’t every brunch lover?) and I’m also a sucker for the salmon/rye bread option and the eggs royale. Needless to say that these guys have got it right. If brunch isn’t your thing, then there is also lunch options for something a bit more substantial such as salads, soups, sandwiches and quiche, but unfortunately these are a bit too pricey for me. My dad came down once and bought me a huge lunch though, and from what I have tasted it was absolute perfection.
If you're ever in the area of Kingston upon Thames or Fulham, I would definitely recommend you drop in and check them out.