For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room
So how should I presume?
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Coffee spoons and Sunday blues
I'm sure T.S Eliot wrote The Love Song of Alfred J Prufrock on a Sunday afternoon. Every student who spent too much time loafing about in coffee shops smoking ludicrously strong cigarettes knows the poem. Since my school days I have despised Sunday afternoons and old Prufrock seems to capture that lost time perfectly. It gets to the hours of twilight, about 3.00pm/4.00pm in London at this time of year and I feel like a school kid with too much homework and a rapidly shrinking opportunity to get it done. I get tetchy and childish, behave oddly and generally make the girlfriends eyes roll as "Sunday MG" throws another tantrum. Sunday afternoon holds no small measure of terror for me. A nameless one, but real and unrelenting. So, it was with no small relief that I found myself drinking what is reportedly London’s best coffee at the Monmouth Street Coffee Company this Sunday afternoon. With a Sally Clarke mince pie to help ward off those potential blues.
From their communal farmhouse tables and piles of bread, butter and jam to which you can help yourself, to the quality of the coffee, which they roast on the premises, it's hard not to like this culinary landmark. It had become clichéd to say that they serve the best coffee and town and to be honest I very much doubt they do. I could name a couple of down at heel Italian sandwich shops where they have been seasoning their Gaggias for a couple of decades and make an espresso to make you slick back your hair, put cotton wool in your cheeks and start looking for a horses head. Having said that, they make a spectacular cappuccino and you can rest assured that the cakes will always satisfy. Was all this enough to ward off the Sunday blues? Almost, but not quite. I threw a hissy fit about 10 minutes after leaving.