Putting the star in Starbucks: Gwyneth Paltrow / AP


Forget The Ivy, the best place to spot celebrities these days is over a cappuccino. The Belsize Park branch of Starbucks in north-west London this week saw enough stars to send the celebrity press into apoplexy.

When Gwyneth Paltrow popped in for a brew, she bumped into comic Ricky Gervais and his novelist partner Jane Fallon leaving. Once inside, Paltrow saw fellow actress Kate Hudson and her Muse beau, Matt Bellamy.

In west London, meanwhile, one of The Independent's team spotted the Duchess of Cambridge with a cup of Joe before heading to the Paralympics.

In LA, paparazzi pictures regularly feature celebrity coffee holders. The Starbucks outlets in Malibu, Bel Air, and Manhattan Beach are all popular with off-duty actors, while in New York a branch on West 45th attracts stage types from nearby theatres.

Also helpful for the star-spotter is the company's new policy of inscribing customer's cups with their names before shouting them out. Useful, in case you weren't sure if it really was Gwyneth you were gawping at.