I went on a great road-trip this weekend with my boyfriend and our two good kiwi friends. We ended up in Brighton! What a fantastic, exciting place. The sun was shining and it was so much warmer than it has been in London lately! Before spending hard earned pennies in the amusements on the pier, (literally pennies, on the coin pushing games), we decided to grab something to eat, so we visited Café Rococo on St. James’s Street.
It was a very quaint little café. Minimalistic but cosy, simple yet satisfying (sounds like a line from Lion King!) and an all round nice place to ‘chill’ out. As it was early, we managed to get the sofa seats, (a prerequisite for my café) and settled in with a couple of newspapers, sipping and nibbling away at four delicious coffees and snacks.
My girlfriend ordered a skinny latte and a raisin scone. I ordered a flat white and a DELICIOUS tuna melt Panini. Since moving to London, I have started quite an illicit love affair with these sandwiches – who doesn’t love tuna, cheese and red onion all mixed together between two pieces of warm, toasted bread? My friend was also very appreciative of her scone, however it was served with jam and butter, when we all know the best way to eat a scone is with jam and cream!
As for the boys? A large mochaccino, flat white and two sausage sannies – drowned in tomato sauce, of course. They sang the praises of their meals as well. So all in all, the perfect choice when all we wanted was a good cup of coffee, and some wholesome, basic, filling food. Also, the prices were very commendable – always makes the food taste better when you haven’t forked out a fortune for it!
So this got me thinking – again about food. I can hear my Mum chuckling and saying “so what’s new?” My last post was discussing where I would source my food from – but snuggling into the sofa at the Café Rococo, with a good read and a hot cup of coffee, brought forth a question which I didn’t think I would ever consider: is the more basic, the better? By this, I mean am I looking at this business venture through the wrong tinted glasses? In my head I have always imagined a full on, bustling kitchen, with a chef (or even two!) serving proper menu meals, along with a Barista making drinks and wait staff serving with a smile – quite a busy, frantic, but fun, atmosphere.
But is this the ideal situation? Sitting in Café Rococo really made me appreciate the satisfaction that comes with simplicity. There was nothing complicated about the whole environment. The atmosphere was relaxing – the same experience like watching a mind numbing, American television programme, which you find yourself so engrossed in, you forget everything else happening around you and all the stresses in life are put on hold for that 60 minute stint in time. Basically, you can zone out in that café kind of atmosphere – an atmosphere I very much appreciate and enjoy. Would I be better opting for a single cabinet full of basic, yet tasty food, and focus on quality in simplicity rather than a place full of hustle and bustle?
I believe when I begin travelling the world on my way back to NZ and experience the café culture in different countries, I will be able to define exactly the atmosphere I want to establish in my café – but fear not! Throughout my travels, the blogs will continue, with my documenting of these experiences…I can hear the sighs of relief from here.