Thursday, 13 December 2007

The Coffee Shop of Wonder

Although it is rather hard to ‘pop’ anywhere at this time of year, yesterday I managed to pop to Stoke Newington in North London in the hunt for Christmas presents. Although there is really just one place a person has in mind if they are popping to Stoke Newington, and that is of course Church Street.

Church Street is a winding lane (bear with me) off the main High Road that leads all the way to Clissold Park, which is cemented in my memory as the park where my Nan fainted one hot summers day when I was but a nipper, and that while she was recovering with a ciggie in the shade of the porter’s cabin, the porter very kindly bought me an ice-cream. Oh happy days… apart from the Nan fainting bit.

Anyway, Church Street itself is where every yoga bendy bean munching individual that cannot afford N1 aspires to live, ‘so close to all that culture, darling’ as they look towards the high road and shudder at the close proximity of winking neon, promising kebabs and cheap phone calls to Nigeria.

It is very strange, this influx of trendies to the area. I do wonder if they think they are being very ‘right on’ by having an N16 address, especially the ones you see pushing super power baby buggies, or with expensive Meccano-like fold up bicycles. But that’s London for you – in one direction rich, the other poor! And people that live in the Church Street vicinity are definitely rich, the food shop Fresh and Wild do not plonk their organic roots into the ground otherwise.

I was in Church Street as one of the shops is my secret weapon when buying presents for the J, although one quick poke at the parcel will reveal the present is of the material persuasion, as opposed to containing a Wii. And what does J want? A big fat Wii, of course. The budget doesn’t extend to things like that; I absolutely cannot spare a penny for a Wii. (I've done it again, made myself chuckle. Oh dear.)

But this post was called The Coffee Shop of Wonder and yes, this is a real place, a real coffee shop, called The Blue Legume. The front of the cafe/restaurant is nearly always busy, but the mosaic tables around the back are a place to dream over a coffee, to write wishes and scribble secrets.

It is my happy place. The coffee is pretty decent as well.

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