When the world was slightly more normal and social distancing was not a thing (well at least that’s how I remember it) I vividly recall walking passed this newsagent/tobacconist years ago and thinking I really should visit one day! Back in those days, the windows were lined with newspapers and magazines, giving you no clues as to what actually lay inside. I imagined it small, cluttered, and full of dust! I lived in Marylebone for a total of about eight years (two of those most memorable ones, even in Chiltern Street) but I never actually recall walking into this newsagent.
Imagine my surprise when I walked passed it during lockdown, to see a totally transformed airy looking space, with what seemed like a gathering of people all around the shop front drinking coffee. Of course, I was intrigued and more pleasantly taken back on what had transpired.
Shreeji News with its flash counter top and beautifully crafted shelves with a hidden coffee machine, is ingenious! It has given the locals a place, not only to grab a coffee with their newspaper, but an opportunity to chat to each other that might even become a friendly acquaintance.
Every good newsagent needs a barista (said no one ever!) While I was sceptical at the start, I was comfortably reassured after my first coffee. This is a place that knows how to make a good coffee! Thank god!
The new design of the rooms in the back and downstairs are extraordinary, and the potential of what can be achieved is exciting. With pop ups and art exhibitions been on the cards lately, I cannot wait to see what else is planned in the future!
Go check it out for yourself. I bought my first newspaper in a long while there the other day. What is better than a coffee and a newspaper? A magazine? Maybe a pastry? Cake? (did I mention they have those as well?!)
Address: 6 Chiltern St, Marylebone, London W1U 7PT