Raison d'Être

18 Bute Street
South Kensington, London
SW7 3EX
Tel: 020 7584 5008 South Kensington 0.1 miles

Popular and reasonably priced French café.


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Raison d'Être reviews

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I booked this cafe for a breakfast meeting yesterday. I was not sure if it was going to be a successful meeting but I took a gamble. My boss called me to say that it was a good experience. On this basis I am happy to recommend this cafe, even though I have not been there myself. I intend to visit soon. Well done Matt.

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 by ornamoses, 12 Jul 2012
This is how any cafe, let alone French, should be run. I cannot overstate what a great customer-centric owner Matthieu is. Went in randomly while at the HTB leadership conference this week and it was a joy. Food is great, service amazing.

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 by steve.brehm, 19 May 2012
The food is amazing and the service unbelievably friendly (became friends with the owner, Matt, almost right away). I stumbled upon this place last week whilst on vacation and am super glad I did. I'm from California and honestly wish that there was one down here. Their chicken mozarella panini was the best I have had and the avocado chicken bacon panini was great as well. Overall, I wholeheartedly recommend this place. Definitely worth stopping by.

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 by Brian Infante, 17 Apr 2012
Raison d'Etre is the closest you can get to a real French cafe in London. The food is well prepared, sevice is fast and the customers are real French people from SW7's French community of 100,000 people. I'm English and a lover of France, and I can tell you that this cafe is authentically French. Vive la France!

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 by nickolingo, 27 Jan 2012
An absolutely fantastic café, run by a very polite friendly man called Matt. The coffee is like no other in South Kensington. The service is great and the staff are very polite. The problem is choosing which sandwich to have as they are all absolutely delicious. The foccacias are just incredible, with a wide range of fillings.

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 by alece, 13 Jan 2012
The only problem with Raison d'Être (not really a problem) is that every sandwich on the menu is the best sandwich on the menu. You could eat the chicken/bacon/avocado, rare roast beef, chicken escalope, prosciutto crudo, goats cheese/avocado/pesto/rocket/balsamic syrup focaccia, melted raclette/new potatoes/smoked ham, etc every day and be extremely happy. But every sandwich is delicious, and venturing away from the regular every once in a while is always rewarding.

The service is great, and when you are ready to dip your toes in the water and test out a new tasty treat, Matt (the owner) or any other member of the staff, will always help out and provide a great suggestion.

The coffee is the best I've found in London, by far! as a frequenter of coffee shops, I always search out my spot upon first arriving in a new city. When I stumbled upon Raison d'Être, I first noticed the great atmosphere - very inviting, great for sitting for a quick coffee or a long lazy lunch, and always playing the best music (Barry White is a favorite there). That first croissant and double espresso sealed the deal, and I have since refused to get coffee anywhere else, as it would be unjustified torture to my taste buds.

I will miss getting coffee and a sandwich here every day, not just because they are the best I have found, but because the staff are friendly, helpful, and all round amazing!

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 by jrosenbaum, 16 Dec 2011
Wonderful food and extremely enthusiastic service. I had an amazing hot chicken scallop with lemon and salad in a baguette -sumptuous! Lovely warm cookies too. I'm definitely going back now I've discovered it!

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 by Dr Becky, 22 Oct 2011
I had no idea when I booked our accommodation in South Kensington, London, that we were a step (or two) from the French Quarter. What a coup! With Paris our next stop, a much 'hankered over' destination, to be within a whiff of 'many-things-French' was a pleasant surprise.

Another more-than-pleasant surprise was the discovery of Raison d’Être. Smack bang in the middle of our traipsing-trail was this more than delightful café. Boasting an array of tantalising morsels and the hospitality of Mathieu, Jake and co, I recruited myself as a regular, albeit for our remaining 2 days.

Impressive... and not just for its food and coffee.

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 by deborahkbates, 19 Oct 2011
Visited this week with my wife. We were welcomed personally by the owner, Matt, who has owned the cafe for a few months now. We enjoyed good food and coffee in a friendly atmosphere.

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 by Storm, 11 Oct 2011
The best Tuna Nicoise in the world can be enjoyed here. But don't upset the owner, Mot, as he suffers from 'cafe rage' and will take his glasses off and get heavy! Artwork is boring and square and typical of the owner.

Useful review? 1
 by hollywoodgallery, 05 Oct 2011
I've been in London for two months now, living in South Kensington, and I believe that this place has the best sandwiches in the whole city. I do not know which to rave about more, the unbeatable customer service by the owner Matt and his sisters, or the Chicken Bacon Avocado sandwich. The bread is by far the best I have ever had and the avocado literally melts in your mouth. I could not recommend a place more. I do not know what I would do without my daily serving of their food. Literally a Mecca for sandwiches.

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 by lukepiasio, 29 Jul 2011
The food is fine, but the cafe is overpriced and filled with blowhard oldies and bombastic music. Many alternative (and superior) cafes have opened in the area. Save your ££s - as well as your ears - and venture elsewhere.

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 by BettyBoop21 (3 reviews), 15 Jun 2008
Best place to find chocolate chip cookies. They really are perfect in every way, except that they are a little overpriced for their size.

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 by edithearot, 08 Dec 2007
Excellent cappucinos and sandwiches. Mediocre music. Often too loud. Cafe society feel, but listening to owner's conspiracy theories and pontification on politics gets seriously boring. Stick to the food!

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 by tbasmith, 10 Jul 2007
Want to have a great cappucino and argue politics with the regulars? This is the place. It's cafe society at its best with Ben, the owner and agent provocateur. Challenge him on his wild conspiracy theories and odd facts. It's all good fun and the sandwiches are terrific.

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 by Nerdbird, 02 Jul 2007
Um... why is this the 12th nicest thing in the city? As a cafe, I would suggest it's slightly above run-of-the-mill, but no more than that. It's a place to buy a coffee and a croissant. Do not expect to be amazed.

Useful review? 1
 by Bubbles J. Smith (6 reviews), 23 Apr 2007
The food is simple but good and the coffee is fantastic. I do, however, find the music at times overly loud and unecessary.

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 by Anonymous, 18 Apr 2007
Fantastic coffee and great food. Given the quality, it offers good value - even for a student!

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 by Anonymous, 10 Nov 2006
Phenomenal hot chocolate and coffee, awful music.

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 by Anonymous, 01 Jun 2006
An excellent little cafe, serving things like croissants, yoghurt and fruit salad for breakfast, then a variety of tasty baguettes, toasted focaccias etc. through lunch and the afternoon. Unlike most of the 'specialist' coffee shops that have proliferated in recent years, this place actually knows how to make the stuff.

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 by Anonymous, 01 Dec 2005


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