Good privately-owned coffee shops are few and far between. When going beyond the mega-chain options such as Starbucks and Costa, it's hard to find a place that doesn't sell you a push-one-button coffee and call it a cappuccino. The worst part is, those places often still sell that watered down poor excuse for espresso for £3 as if it's actually proper coffee.
Fortunately, The Press Room does no such thing. Seven months ago, entrepreneur David Symons opened a new cafe in what used to be the Southern Brew, right across from Surbiton Station. Completely redesigned, this delightful little coffee shop is already busting with caffeine starved customers. The coffees are made carefully by trained baristas, cappuccinos being served with a unique design to show the care and creativity that goes behind every coffee. Mine came out in the shapes of a leaf and a swan.
Not only is the coffee remarkably tasty and rich, but the wide selection of wine, sandwiches and pastries offers a variety that is outstanding for such a quaint business. Symons says that the success of his business so far is partially due to treating the staff as partners in the cafe. Everyone has a say in how things are operated, and you feel it when you're there.
We've all been in a restaurant where you can feel the tension of the staff: no one really wants to be there. On the contrary, in The Press Room, the staff were friendly, helpful, and spent a good portion of the two hours I was there laughing and chatting with regular customers.
All in all, whether you're having a business meeting or a private writing/studying session, The Press Room should be on your list of places to go for a great coffee and pleasant atmosphere.