I have always a soft spot for independent businesses. They are the bastion against the high-streetfication though technically a business is either a chain store or a local business, isn't it? Anyway, these one of a kind businesses are often quirky, offer creative wares and friendly, personal services. I love them, especially if one is a cafe with good coffee and newspapers to boot.
These days, I've been visiting Exmouth Market's Caravan for its so often it's getting a bit embarrassing. I need a change of environment and Brill rides to the rescue. This neat little cafe/CD shop a few doors down at Exmouth Market was formerly known as Clerkenwell Music. Proprietor Jeremy Brill still runs the cafe (let's call it that for now). Always friendly with a ready smile, he serves a mean cappuccino and one of the best bagels I've come across (go for one with smoked salmon).
While I'm not sure whether he still sells enough CDs, there is a mixture of selection lining Brill's walls. Most people would turn up for coffee, a quick snack and either browse through the Guardian provided or work on their laptops.
Oh, Brill welcomes kids too. Just ask for a babyccino, which is essentially hot frothed milk topped with copious amount of chocolate/cinnamon powder, and you'll be enjoying the non-mainstream number playing in the background with your toddler in no time. Brill is definitely a welcomed pit stop if you are in the area.