All I Need

The Table in the New Piccadilly Cafe, Denman St, London W1

It was about time. Back in The Cafe. At last. It has been way too long.
I went there directly after work, picking up a newspaper to read, on my way.

First thing, after ordering tea (with milk, not the continental crap) and a cup of tomato soup with bread, was asking the obvious question : What was going on ?
The very friendly waiter didn’t really know. The last news was that there was a big chance the whole building was going to make place for a new and shiny and certainly not needed new building, and would therefor disappear, taking The Cafe with it. (This sounds quite hitchhikery, but unfortunately this is for real).
Not this summer, but somewhere in the next 8-9 months. That is as much as they knew right now. Doesn’t look good.

The owner is having a nice time though with 2 of his friends, drinking their Friday afternoon wine, and maybe a bit more. I sit at The Table, a lucky day as it was free when I came in. The yellow formica tables match so perfectly with the red seats, The Cafe has so much style. A couple comes in and takes place at the table in front of me. It takes about 2 minutes before the whole cafe knows that they have just been engaged, today. This calls for a white wine on the house.
In the mean time the owner and his friends are solving all the world’s problems over a drink. Who needs politicians.

I get my soup served. The waiter lays a hand on my shoulder and asks me if I would like to have some fresh pepper in my soup. I like that. Both the way he asks me, and also to have the pepper.

I am far from finished reading my Daily Telegraph with, being the icing on the cake – or maybe – the pepper in my soup, a big fat interview with Bill Nighy in it. “Half Squid – Half Crab – But All Charming” it is called. This is good, The Cafe is good, The Table is good, the interview is good and it all comes together again. (And the M&S ad in the newspaper on the picture is a complete coincidence, I first noticed that when I saw the picture, but it fits so perfectly in this story !)

When I order a cola, a bit later, they serve it with a pink straw in it. Now who does that nowadays. Yes MacDonalds and Burger King do, but they are certainly not pink there, and we are talking about cola in a decent glass here and we are in a real cafe and not in a fastfood bunker.

I pay my Bill at the counter with the old fashioned cashier machine. The waiter says “Thank you young lady”, and the smile I already had on, got even bigger.

This is my cafe, it will always be my cafe, I promise myself to visit it more often, and I cross my fingers that it somehow manages to survive the threathening hammer of destruction.

And I don’t know what they put in my tea every time I am there, but when I step out of the door I am high on happiness.

How’s your tea ?
Not bad seeing as how they are Italian …


(The picture has All I Need : tea (in the very right corner – my camera lacks a wide angle), the menu card and the formica table of The Cafe, a newspaper with a funky and cool Bill, and my paper notebook with a draft version of this post in it.
And for those not quite getting it all (I am not even sure I do sometimes, so don’t worry but here you go), this is the cafe from the film The Girl In The Cafe, and this was the exact table Bill Nighy and Kelly McDonald were sitting at in the film. Both the cafe and this table somehow have some magical effects on me. This can result in things like suddenly singing out loud in public (embarrasing) but also in waves of creativity, which is a good thing. And – in blog posts that are way too long. So if you made it all the way down here – well done. I owe you a cup.)

3 thoughts to “All I Need”

  1. Post not too long. There should be more odes to wonderful cafes. And they should never, ever, ever be replaced by soul-killing office buildings.

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