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Colombian photography exhibition comes to Bloomsbury coffee shop

Syrup of Soot in Bloomsbury will play host to the exhibition by Henry Agudelo on Friday and Saturday

19 April, 2017 — By George Engels

Chef at Syrup of Soot, Mourad Sahnoune and co-owners Christophe Mercier, Christos Tsarnas

Back in the 17th and 18th centuries, London coffee shops – particularly in Bloomsbury – were places where intellectuals, artists, businessmen and other interesting types would meet to learn the day’s news, discuss the latest philosophical trends, and indulge in learned conversation.

And at Syrup of Soot, a quaint café bistro hidden behind the British Museum, in Museum Street, the culture continues. This Friday and Saturday (21 and 22 April), the coffee shop will play host to an exhibition by Colombian photojournalist Henry Agudelo.

Co-owner Christophe Mercier, 47 said: “Agudelo’s work is magnificent. He’s a strong contender for the Sony World Photography Award. The beauty for us is that we have him coming here to talk to people.”

Getting people talking is something the café embraces. “There is a sense of communication here,” Mr Mercier added. “You don’t see this in many cafés, where usually it’s people with a laptop and an electronic device.”

Syrup of soot, which opened last August, has embraced community-orientated cultural events, winning it popularity in the area.

Christos Tsarnas, 55, Syrup of Soot’s second co-owner said: “We’re all quite diverse, we all come from different areas, and we all know lots of people from all over the world. So, it’s about bringing in those people and almost giving them a home.”

Mr Mercier added: “The café’s name, Syrup of Soot, was one of many nicknames for coffee in the 17th century.”

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