Tea-rifficly Desirable?

17/02/22 16:56

Sitting in a rather Instagrammable tearoom, I’ve already realised my mistake.  It’s a coffee shop.  Not that this is a big issue.  In fact, it’s almost too perfect for words.  How can that be?  Simple, whilst sitting in the Wetherspoons supping my decaf machine-made mocha, I had my book epiphany.  Yes, I think this is about the seventh one I’ve suffered since trying to work out where I’m going.  Anyway, I have written down a dozen chapter titles and even started writing what is at present the seventh chapter.  The thing is, I’ve included the introduction as a chapter.  And I created a new topic whilst writing so the order may well change.  Twenty-five years is a long time.  A very little-known secret about me is that I’ve already written a book.  It’s another creative non-fiction but many, many years ago.  It took three years but there was no research required as it was autobiographically anecdotal.  This book is another one-upmanship contest that I have with myself.  Yes, the BA and then the MA.  The London marathon and now the Paris marathon.  One book and now another.  Is it one-upmanship or proving they weren’t one-offs?  Like learning to drive and then learning to ride a motorbike.  Which is totally different to having my boys.  I guess my next self-proving I need to do is getting married.  Or staying with my regular job for another 4 years to beat my 10-year record from my previous employment.  Where I coach rugby, my next stage was to play, which I’ve done a handful of times.  At the moment, I’m not going to risk injury before the marathon as spending over £800 to not run really isn’t an option.  It’s this sort of spending that is stopping me from taking the boys to Ibiza this year.  And quite possibly next year.  I’m honestly going to need to review my spending in order for it to happen.  I also want to go to the Olympics in 2024 but that’s a totally different issue, altogether.   

Back to the book and the chapter I’m writing is about tea rooms and cafés.  I’ve identified from my own experiences that there are quite probably four generic styles of hot drink establishment that the quintessential Englishman (not currently) in Paris has frequented.  Sweet Summer, where I am at the minute, is at the very other end of the one I’ve written about in the book.  This is one of the new desirables of establishment that is finding its way to the High Street.  Hash Tag Café is another one although I only ran past it on Monday so I’ve not had the pleasure, yet.

Bright and airy, flowers on the walls, gold and white décor with pretty (but pretty low-hanging) light fittings and beat-heavy chill music just at the pleasant level of audibility.  The white neon writing supplies photo opportunities with messages such as “love at first lick” and “sweet”.  They serve coffees, milkshakes, bubble tea, ice-cream, little pancakes, little French cakes and macarons.  Their clientele are families, women before dinner, young Instagrammers and, it appears, authors.  Don’t get me wrong, when it’s quiet like it is now, it can be very productive.  Valentine’s Day was slightly different as it was half-term and a family lunch out is acceptable.  As are the young families stepping off the bus that pulls up outside. I didn’t do any writing or blog updating on Valentine’s Day but I did bring the girlfriend here for a nice little respite before heading home for a Waitrose dinner for two.  The duck was lovely and a healthy reminder of my favourite meal in Paris.  Yes, I enjoy a croque madame, but canard cooked either as confit or magret has never failed to impress, whether it’s been at Le General Lafayette in the 9th or Jardin du Roy in the Quartier Latin.  Coming here before dinner for a couple of hours was lovely.  That beat-heavy chill music and a tarte aux citron with a mocha was just right for me.  For her, ten mini-pancakes.

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