Little English cafes teach us something…
There’s always time for a cup of tea and a chat.
That’s just the English way. We slow down enough to ask the question, to listen to the story, to pay close attention. We just pop over for a cuppa. But what a treat to stop by the cafe, the daytime hub of the village, to have a chat. (Note : At nighttime that would be the pub.) 😉
Cafes (or coffee shops to my American tribe) have expanded their original function. It’s a beautiful thing. Now, rather than simply connect with local lovelies, we have the opportunity to reach a global audience and receive a global perspective. What a gift! Maybe you’re reading this from a cafe far away? In this expansion, though, we can’t forget how they served us originally : a meeting space to listen and be heard, to find connection and love.
So millenials, I ask you this. Every once in a while head to your local spot without a computer, without a phone, and *gulp* without even a friend. Enjoy your warm mug and see what kind of adventure awaits. Perhaps not on your first outing like this, but soon enough you’ll meet a kindred spirit. Maybe you’ll connect after your moment over tea, and maybe you won’t. But this isn’t about THAT, what you get or where it’s going, is simply about being, giving your questions, your stories, your attention. Find a cafe that makes you feel like you, and go for it darling!
|| merseyside ||
In the UK each cafe has their own little personalities. Especially in the smaller villages where Starbucks and the like don’t reign supreme. Here were a few that my adventure boots stumbled into.
the garden by LEAF
Tucked in a corner of the ultra mod FACT museum in Liverpool is a darling little cafe called The Garden. It’s the kind of eatery with light that somehow makes it easier to breathe. I knew I’d love it from just a glimpse round the corner, and had a feeling I’d be able to eat here. As a gf-vegan, my intuition is pretty strong in knowing if a place will bring me nutrients. 😏 It was an odd bunch in here from grannies bumbling about the postman being late to students with overear headphones that didn’t look up once.
what I had :: the sweet potato toast with the exotic garden tea
Love thy neighbor
Not far from there in the Ropewalks District was a trendy little joint with a name that had me trotting right up. Love Thy Neighbor. The mix in here was what I’d expect of the hipster area of town. You could just feel the creative entrepreneurial energy. Chefs in black hole-in-the-knee jeans with clean cut beards and posh hair designing this quarter’s menu. Fashion bloggers sipping coffee as they pore over the latest post with a serious candy red nail clutch on that white mug. Yogi babes in flowy tanks chatting over green juice with easy smiles, spreading love to the whole place.
what I had : the ABC apple-beet-carrot juice
Heswall coffee house
My chats with others though tend to happen in the smaller towns + villages. I went into Heswall and stumbled into this lovely space. What was on special? Vegan Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate. It was divine. Almost as lovely as my new friend from behind the till who is training to be a teacher.
what I had :: the coconut milk hot chocolate
GJ’s Coffee Shop
And then. There was GJ’s. I’d not typically walk into a spot like GJ’s as it’s not my vibe. But I was hungry after walking the Wirral Way, and this local spot was the only one for miles. That was made clear when I walked in, and there wasn’t a spot in the place! So, being English, I went ahead and sat right down at a table currently being occupied by two other parties. And we had a lovely chat. I kept my books and schedules and headphones away, and took a mo to learn about the life + world of another. That’s a different kind of learning. ❤️
what I had :: English breakfast tea
|| London ||
Once I made it to London, I couldn’t really stumble because it’s just so massive. You don’t want o stumble in London. You want to know where you’re going. So I sought out a couple vegan places.
the hive wellbeing
The Hive Wellbeing on Vyner Street wasn’t far from my Airbnb on the East End, where I lived as a kid. It was SO tasty a I was craving protein something horrible. I struggle with getting enough protein while traveling, so this yummy quinoa whats JUST what what I needed to set me straight. The decor and the clientele were a bit posh. I didn’t quite fit in to the fancier dress, mustachioed men, or super dark Americano vibe. But the food was truly delightful. I’m betting I could suffer through it again.
what I had :: Quinoa + avocado salad with an energy ball for dessert
Rawligion just sounded too good NOT to go. I’m pretty sure I ate half of the products they offered. I also made a friend who is from Portugal (where I am currently). And thank goodness. I made less plans than I normally do for this leg of the trip. I needed an insider tour guide. This was a kind of pop in-pop out joint, which I hadn’t expected. Again, food was amaze. Can’t wait to come back for that 22g chocolate hemp protein shake
what I had :: quinoa lentil salad, aloe water, protein bar and truffles to go
I’ve just stepped off the plane in Porto and on the metro. On my way to the hostel and then, yep, you guessed it. A cafe.