Beas of bloomsbury

So maybe this year I should try a few other coffee shops in London. In the past 2.5 years I’ve been in here, London has seemed to experience a new love for coffee. Tea stays strong, but the love for good coffee is growing (ask any Expat and good coffee doesn’t equal costa, nero or pret) independent coffee shops have popped up all over the city. I’ve been biased to the Aussiekiwi places, probably influenced by the coworkers. But as they all seem to be heading back home, and I’m on a pure decaf diet now, its time to expand.

So, here I am in bea’s of bloomsbury. British run. Actually more of a bakery, really, the selection of cakes is extreme. Weird thing is, all the tables are reserved! This is the first coffee shop I have ever been to that takes reservations.

Forced to linger by the door for a few minutes while a table frees up I notice all the patrons are having scones and …. Tea!. Busted, my expectations on the coffee imediately drops.

A few minutes later though, I’m seated (and told that I have to free the table in 45 min for the next booking). a decaf latte arrives, dressed with a pretty little fern leaf (the showy finish every good coffee place likes to do) I’m surprised. Coffee is excellent.

Maybe next time I should graduate from newbie status and make a reservation.

note: a good article on the coffee culture; http://www.timeout.com/london/connect/food+drink/blog/83/raising-the-bar-the-independent-cafes-and-antipodean-attitudes-regenerating-our-coffee-cul

Which kind of hockey?

Conversation goes a little like this,

Brit 1: ya I was once in Canada about 15 years ago and I remember someone asking me what I thought about Wayne greyzky. But I didn’lt know who that was.
Me: how do you not know who Wayne greyzky is??
Brit 1: ya, I don’t know. Just never heard of him
Me: my god! But he’s like a national hero! Hey, brit 2, do you know who Wayne getzky is?
Brit2: no. Who is he?
Me: my god! Only the most famous hockey player ever!
Brit2: what kind of hockey? Ice hockey?
Me: now you’re just taking the piss. There is hockey, and then there is field hockey and road hockey.
Both brits: shrug
Me: urgh’ nevermind.

Jaffa Cakes

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Considering how often I’ve heard the Brits make reference to Jaffa Cakes I expected them to taste better. The one I had today tasted like stale bread with fake marmalade, but maybe that’s because they’re the bog-standard Sainsbury’s brand.

Welcome to the 21st Century, Cambridge!

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It looks like Cambridge is installing ticket barriers at the rail station. I’ve noticed the same at the “annex train shed” at King’s Cross so I guess I’ll have to get used to it. It’s going to be comical to see all the people trying to get their bicycles past these when they go into operation. I can’t wait! :)

Ein Prosit! Ein Prosit! Der gemuetlichskeit!

Oktoberfest day 2 is in the Paulaner tent for us. We got here early enough to grab a table, and thankfully, unlike the first day, they serve beer right from the start. Everyone is standing for the band’s entrance:

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Sylvia is starting on her second litre and the band has started playing:

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These 15 year olds lucked out – their fake ID was accepted. Amazing:

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Ah Oktoberfest. Joy of joys.