Posted by / Category London /

There is a ritual I wouldn’t miss for the whole world: my morning’s coffee, in the coffee shop next door. I love the culture of coffee in London: you have big brands or independent coffee shops every 50 yards. I also love coffee and couldn’t survive without it. Some say it is a drug. It may well be but I don’t care: I have reached this stage in my life where I have accepted me the way I am, wobbly bits and nasty habits included.

I like going out for my morning coffee. It is my small luxury.
Ok, let me rephrase this: I like watching the other people in the coffee shop. It is an amazing picture of the London society. This morning, a group of consultants were having their skinny lattes while discussing business. Something to do with a communication plan. Boring as hell. The younger ones were sucking up to the-cool-manager-who-bought-coffee-for-everyone. Pathetic. So glad I left the corporate world…
Then, we had two 50-something year old lovers. Who said life was boring after a certain age? They were cuddling and holding hands. And wholeheartedly kissing. It seemed to me a bit Over The Top for a regular, married couple. I would say lovers. The real question is: legit or not? Tough one. Need more time to find out. I would say not legit. Or a very new story. Something didn’t feel quite right.
An uninvited guest entered the coffee shop. A poor pigeon. It thought it could escape through the big window glasses. It was wrong. It almost knocked itself out with a loud bang. The manager  eventually caught it in a red apron and let it out. The chase lasted a couple of minutes, and the media consultants were letting out little shouts of girls who believe fish fingers grow in the freezer. The little shouts seemed to amuse the city boy on his own at the corner table (who was wearing the mandatory power stripes). Men and their hormones. Why do most men fall for silly strident little shouts? Grow up, city boy, grow up…
After my caffeine fix, I stood up and decided to go home and start working. What a fantastic start or the day!
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Damn, I’m jealous. Just set up a date to have coffee with a girlfriend later in the week. And really there is only one place in town that two white women can go have coffee and not be confused as being prostitutes. So of course we’re going there…

  • I look forward to my morning coffee every day as well. I get a extra hot skinny latte from Pret before I head up to my office. Extra hot because it still need to be hot by the time I drink if after I have my porridge that I bring in in a thermos 🙂 I’m usually the first one in so it’s a nice time to settle into the day with my porridge and my coffee.

  • @ Marie – Welcome. Good to “see” you here! I will tell you something: let’s swap. I need some sun and you need an English latte. How does it sound?

  • @ Mrs B – another coffee addict? It must have something to do with London…Out of interest, which Pret are you going to (you might have bumped into me without knowing…wouldn’t it be fun)?

  • Oh how I miss coffee. I am not permitted any caffeine so coffee has been out for me for many years. I do love living vicariously through other coffee drinkers and the smell coming from the shops is heavenly. Great Post as usual. I love your descriptions of people.

  • Oh so envious. My morning coffee is instant, grabbed in the staffroom and usually slopped on the floor as I walk to the classroom. I’d love to have time to sit and people watch over a cappuccino before work. But 1. I’d have to get up a lot earlier and 2.I’d have to find a coffee shop I’d have to drive to the nearest town and even then it wouldn’t be open before 9.30am

  • Couldn’t manage beyond 8am without a caffeine fix, though that is from my own machine now that the nearest coffee shop is some 20 miles away *sad face*
    You have to love love love London for it’s people watching potential though. It’s one of the best ‘tourist’ attractions we have!

  • I can relate to this. I remember those days in Manila when my friend and I would just sit at a Starbucks with our lattes and people watch. There’s nothing more fun I think! Just to conjure up stories or eavesdrop, hehehehe…..good writing material don’t you think? Glad you had a lovely London morning, Muriel :-))

  • @ Jennifer – OMG that sounds like a life sentence to me. Poor you! Not permitted a coffee. I would have decaf. the taste of coffee is something I am addicted to!

  • @ hocam – in London some coffee shops open at 6.30 am. I just love it. And some even do fresh croissants. Who needs France when you can have fresh croissants in London?

  • Looking forward to my daily grind in the Old Town Cafe in Kos Town listening to Alex’s louche lounge music. Coffee always tastes better when it’s an iced Frappe and there is a danger of a Bougainvillea flower from the canopy above floating into it!!

  • I make my morning coffee, but if I need to get out of the house/away from the computer, I do go to the dreaded Starbucks. Not a big fan of their coffee, but usually I just like to sit and read, make notes, and people watch.

    What bothers me: lately, people are taking over two tables (and accompanying chairs)…and there are only TWO of them. No joke. The mgmt doesn’t say boo to them.

    Yesterday, my Westechester County spot was “invaded” by someone from NYC. She talked like this was her own spot (and ONE PERSON took over a spot for four, moving things around). Rude, and she knew it. She looked like she was looking for a fight. Sigh.

  • Hmm … okay … yes, you can get knocked “up” with a bang but not by yourself. What I think you meant to say is the bird almost knocked itself “out.” Yes?

    I’m jealous of your coffee situation. I have to make mine with a Bosch Tassimo on top of my file cabinet.

  • I wonder…do you see things with fresh eyes now that you left the corporate world? Has your coffee ritual transformed in any way? Do you have more time to stop and enjoy the empty moments that aren’t so empty anymore but filled with hidden joys that before there was no time to see?:) Or were you able to see all that before?

  • @ DS – You are a poet!

  • @BornStory teller – looks like you could also write a post on your morning coffee!

  • @Thom – Thanks for the explanation Thom. I get it. And I have corrected it.

  • @ Brynne – I have more time. The main difference is that I am much happier -I should have left a long time ago!!!I was able to see all that before but had never put my thoughts on a paper/screen!

  • According to recent research it’s been ‘proven’ that women who drink coffee are less likely to be depressed…so keep enjoying your morning ritual,
    Muriel!

  • @Accidental Londoner – I won’t stop…I like it too much!

  • I am with you on this one Muriel. I love to stop by the coffee shop in the morning (I need to wake up earlier to do it again soon!) and watch people around, listen to conversation and try to imagine what there is behind this smile and these faces.
    Have a great day!

  • Love your descriptions and observations of your fellow coffee shop mates. Almost made me feel that I was there. Hey, I used to be one of those young things in a power suit – or whatever they were called in my day – sucking up to the self-important manager buying drinks or coffees. But, I have never been one to let out little shrieks and can’t stand women who do. Thought only Americans yelped, eeked, squeaked, shrieked etc. but guess it’s become the norm. Maybe you’ll become a coffee shop diarist. A modern day Samuel Pepys

  • I guess I am the only tea drinker among your commenters. Love the smell of coffee though. No coffee shops in town, and I live in the country, so I have to make my own cuppa every day,and it is the first thing I do. I envy you the next door coffee shop.

    I love to people watch, and do it everywhere I go. And I love Starbucks tea. Yum. 😀