The Canvas Cafe is now London’s first Happy Cafe – Update: March 2015

The Canvas Cafe has joined the Action for Happiness’ Happy Cafe Network, making it London’s first official Happy Cafe. Click here to find out more about the Happy Cafe Network.


Looking for a great place to enjoy a coffee and / or lunch? Want to avoid the large chains? Our Food for Thought series will offer you insight into cafés that provide good food and drink whilst helping others.

The Canvas Cafe

Address: 42 Hanbury Street, London E1 5JL
Open to the public: 8am  to 5pm Tuesday to Friday; 10am – 6pm Saturday & Sunday
Free WiFi is available.

Body Gossip, the award-winning self-esteem charity endorsed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Gok Wan, has launched The Canvas cafe. The Canvas is a cafe, workshop and theatre space that offers self-esteem and confidence workshops, and hosts an ever-changing debate on its walls, encouraging self-expression and community cohesion.

The walls are a canvas for customers’ thoughts, ideas, secrets and stories, and they are open to everyone. Here is just one example:

The Canvas Cafe: A Happy Place In London

Customers are asked, for the sake of the kids, to keep it clean. In fact, The Canvas has made sure kids feel welcome and included too by creating a canvas just for them:

The Canvas Cafe: A Happy Place In London


The concept was inspired by the honesty and passion shown by the public when the founder of Body Gossip, Ruth Rogers, invited people to share their body thoughts on a blank sofa at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2007.

Ruth said: “The Canvas cafe opens the conversation up to new topics, focusing on happiness, self-esteem and confidence. It’s my aim that everyone who visits The Canvas cafe will leave feeling better about themselves. ”

Committed to reinvesting in the community, the team are offering use of their event space for free to charities and fellow social enterprises.


Food & Drink

The food is made in-house from ethically-sourced ingredients.

To encourage and support Movember the cafe has a Movember Hall of Fame – anyone on it gets a free coffee!

The Canvas Cafe: A Happy Place In London


What’s nearby?

The Canvas cafe is just off Brick Lane, and is close to Spitalfields City Farm.

It is fittingly located in an area famous for its street art. The photo below was taken from just outside the cafe.

The Canvas Cafe: A Happy Place In London



A great place to go to relax and have a bit of ‘me time’, get lost in your thoughts, and be inspired by the questions and answers on the wall.

London recently was voted the 2nd most unfriendly city in the world. With their friendly staff, great atmosphere, and delicious food, The Canvas cafe could quickly become everyone’s ‘happy place’ in London.


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About Author

Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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