Socialising-Coffee shops

One of the new freedoms of retirement is that you have more time ( and in some ways less having reached that certain age.) see )

One of the beauties of this new found time is that you can go to coffee shops, without rushing in and then guiltily back to the office again. Luckily the UK has an abundance of coffee shops. That being so, you can choose if you want to stay with one chain, one location or try the independents and that even before travelling outside your own town.

When choosing such a coffee shop its often the other features that swing it. We very much enjoyed our visit to a Starbucks near us. It helped that it had just opened that day and so we were amongst the first customers. Also although its just off a busy road its location in a quiet tree lined area that suggests that you are in the middle of the country.

Another coffee place with particular memories is the Patisserie Valerie on Marleybone High street. It was the first time that we had been to that area and I can see why it is so well rated. It was probably the cake and the coffee that finally sealed this place for us.

There was then a very nice Cafe Nero just around the corner from Fortnum and Mason. We did follow their advice and had a dry January – hence the empty coffee cup

On another occasion we went to a Costa. The Barista showed tremendous skill as a Barista but he could in fact have just as easily been a cocktail maker – his second occupation. Think of Tom Cruise in the film Cocktail. The coffee making was more an acrobatic performance than is the usual and definitely the taste showed a significant skill.

The visit was helped by us having a wide ranging discussion over current events. By all means this was not limited to the topics arising from an earlier visit to the local bookshop. Here by coincidence or design the following books were next to each other ; Corbyn, All out war – the full story of Brexit, Fall out-A year of political mayhem, “Events dear boy Events ” a quote from MacMillan. Finally there was “Why Nations Fail”

I just hope the latter is not too accurate or the coffee society will be under serious threat.

One of the things that one does not find often is to have subtle background music. One has only to look on You Tube and type in “coffee shop jazz” to get a good impression of that. There are many choices all with that lazy melodic bluesy tunes so reminiscent of the ideal coffee shop.

So to wrap up a good coffee shop visit, the coffee, the location and the drink presentation and any cakes all need to come together. When combined with a good atmosphere in the coffee shop all is very enjoyable. The idea is not a new one just think of history of Lloyds Coffee house which opened on Tower Street in London in 1686. It became the forerunner of Lloyds Insurance of London. We have a long way to go still.

I hope you enjoy your coffees now that you are retired, that’s one of the simple pleasures that its all about

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