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Bench. Press.

London: bench, press

By all counts it shouldn’t be place where people linger: it’s mid-block between two busy intersections and is hemmed in by a tight pavement on a street that sees its fair share of on-the-clock messengers. But the Monmouth Coffee Shop is more of a mecca than a coffee shop – with queues for beans/ground/dripped coffee and assorted pastries frequently spilling out onto the Covent Garden street.

The single, slim bench that perches outside the shop has now been joined by 3 others – across the street – the simple act of being able to gaze at or ignore people who are likewise able to gaze at or ignore you is, start a chat with friends or strangers is perhaps the very essence of a community.