there are few places in london where one can study undisturbed for a couple of hours and enjoy decent tea at the same time. at times, starbucks is all that the city offers. but today i picked one of my favourite hidden spots and sat in café eterno for the whole afternoon, sipping delicious chai latte and reading about media and humanitarian interventions. café eterno is "hidden" by the bustling action of covent garden, being superbly located right on neal street. however, even at lunch time on a busy summer day, it is an island of peace.
the atmosphere recalls south american corner bars, thanks to the comfy couches, coloured walls, mismatched vintage furniture and, above all, the café's slogan "esta revolucion està eterna". however, the revolution promoted by this establishment is not che guevarian, but rather surprisingly christian. a part from the little leaflet that accompanies the menu, however, nothing hints at the link between this cozy, family-run little café and london city mission. so i left my agnostic doubts outside the door and gave in to the pleasant sensation of being in the muffled sitting room of some old grandma with an excellent taste for music.
after regaining some energies thanks to a reasonably-priced mexican/sandwich/salads menu, i spent the afternoon sunk in a welcoming armchair, enjoying the jazz and world music in the background as well as the odd few words exchanged with the chatty and relaxed staff. and it felt a bit like home, only in the middle of london's hectic heart.