I had this idea a while ago of writing about coffee and cake, since I spent lots of time sitting in cafes writing or reading, while eating cake and drinking coffee. I figured I’d review them briefly, and try to visit lots of different ones. So here goes with the first in the series.
I went to Cafe W, the new cafe in my local Waterstone’s, since Costa no longer have the franchise. I’m not massively fond of buying books from big chains, but they’ve done up our local Waterstone’s branch recently and it’s looking good – lots of local touches and some great book cover posters on the walls. I also like that the new cafe has piles of books lying around so you can have a read while you drink without buying anything.
When I went: A Saturday afternoon, 1:50pm, which I’d expect to be fairly busy but there were a few free tables, which to me is a plus point. Anywhere that’s totally packed I don’t feel I can relax and take my time over my coffee, and it gets too noisy anyway.
I had: a cappuccino and a pecan and butterscotch cookie. The cookie was OK, but came from a jar and was a brand I’ve seen in other cafes, so obviously not their own stuff. The cappuccino was good, not that strong but tasted good, and in a very stylised, cool looking mug. It had a giant handle, which is what I look for on a good coffee cup (like the saddo that I am) so I was happy.
I read: Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You, by Marcus Chown
I liked the literary decor, it made for a good atmosphere and the staff were friendly. I was feeling all writerly and cool when I looked across at the next table and the man there was writing in a notebook too, clearly feeling cool and writerly himself. It made me laugh at myself, but the cafe did feel like somewhere you could sit and do that and not be rushed. They also had a list of book recommendations from their staff on a chalkboard behind the counter, which I thought was a nice touch.
Would I visit again? Well, I did the week after, and had a really nice almond croissant, so can’t complain.