Back On Track sits nuzzled between fashionable postal codes on Wimpole Street in the heart of Marylebone. Everyone tries to squeeze in to this independent coffee shop to try the great coffee, from office folks to construction workers and, of course, coffee nuts such as myself. Another of the shop's charms is that it's in the vicinity of the many clinics and surgeries of Harley Street – so you'll regularly see people dressed in scrubs popping in for their caffeine fix!
The snug location features a surprising number of seats, including the terrace out front. As you walk inside a blackboard displays all the coffee available – made with Redchurch Street-based Allpress. Tea and cold drinks are available, as is the option of soy milk. The compact menu offers a variety of salads, grilled to order and ready-made sandwiches as well as breakfast and brunch.
I went for the appetising 'Rib-Eye Steak Grilled Sandwich'; a great cut of tender beef that went down deliciously with the melted cheese sauce. I almost went for the 'Chicken & Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich' with guacamole and melted cheese. Alas, I'll save that one for my next visit.
The cappuccino was smooth and balanced. I'd be tempted to go for a long black next time to try to appreciate the full flavour of the blend. Allpress is a welcome addition to the London coffee map. They supply to a bunch of coffee shops around the city, and their website is worth checking out if you want more of their roast elsewhere.
The shop makes clever use of its high ceiling by running a model train around a track that stretches around the whole room. The peculiar décor reminded me of being backstage at a theatre. This is probably not a coincidence seeing as the shop was previously known as Barretts of Wimpole Street. The name is taken from the play by Rudolf Besier which is based on the romance between poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning. It certainly livens the place up. This quirky history, great coffee and the incredibly friendly and knowledgeable staff makes for a wonderful visit.