Last weekend, our regular Saturday morning trip for coffee and cake took us to Starbucks - for the first time in ages.
I’d been treated to a hot chocolate during the week by the girls from work, who had stopped off at a branch of this particular establishment for calming purposes, after aborting a planned trip to Middlesbrough following the unexpected, unwanted and (as I understand it) fairly dramatic appearance of several large spiders in the work’s car.
Still... every cloud and all that; the hot chocolate was lovely, and I quite fancied another.
We joined a short queue and Elaine ordered herself a cappuccino, and a hot chocolate for me (no cream... got my figure to consider). We then showed admirable restraint in ignoring everything even remotely cakey and choosing a couple of bread-related items for our mid-morning treat.
Elaine spotted that the comfy window seats had been vacated and she shot (spelling double checked) across the floor and bagged the two chairs. Suffice to say I was impressed by her vision and acceleration... all because she wanted to have a good nosey at what was going on outside (she’d call it “watching the world go by).
Unusually, Elaine was asked to give her name to the assistant when she placed her order. As well as that, she’d had to answer that most difficult of questions: “Do you want our Guatemalan coffee in your cappuccino?”
According to the company’s website, this particular blend is: “Elegant and refined with layers of unfolding flavour - notes of lemon, chocolate and soft spice”. I’m pretty confident that the assistant hadn’t got a clue where Guatemala actually was, but Elaine simply nodded because the alternative came from Sumatra and apparently tasted shit.
I stood patiently waiting for our drinks. This bloke duly plonked a mug down on the table and said: “Cappuccino for Elaine!” I went to pick it up, and the lad looked at me: “Are you Elaine?”
Well obviously bloody not, but as her husband I thought I’d be allowed to carry the drinks over to our table. Is that okay with you? The people next to me thought it was funny, so I smiled as well... you can’t beat that Guatemalan sense of humour...
I carefully took the drinks over to my darling wife, whose attention was fully focussed on some sort of protest outside the branch of Santander over the road. As I bent down to place the cups on the table, the relative calm was shattered as a voice shouted: “Emma’s paninis!”
Emma’s paninis? What, they shout out when the food’s ready as well?!
Oh God no... Elaine ordered two ham and cheese baps...
Back to Marks & Spencer for Victoria sponge this weekend methinks.