Wednesday 21st August

Oh blimey. What am I going to do? Not so long back there was just about only one place in town that I went to for coffee and that was U Piri Piri. Then I tried Cakes Heaven and THE 2WINS at Rodbourne.   All of which I like very much, they all have their charms and different things to commend them. And I'm already at the stage of having to have part of lunch in one establishment and then going somewhere else for coffee and pudding so as not miss out. Yes, I've actually done that. In town with a friend one day we couldn't decide where to choose so instead did two places: a scrummy savoury wrap at Eggelicious followed by coffee and egg custards in U Piri Piri. Simples. Problem solved. But, now I've been in Cafe Strozzi there's a new element to the equation.

Tucked down College Street, Cafe Strozzi, is easy enough to pass by and until now I have.  But last week I was walking by first thing on a damp, grey morning and had my eye caught by all the pots of flowers surrounding their outside seating area.  In fact it's not an exaggeration to say that the sight stopped me in my tracks.  It's a truly dispiriting aspect they've got directly opposite them, in the form of the side wall of Primark - if ever a wall was crying out for a Ken White mural it surely must be that - perhaps a Mediterranean pueblo or something?  So full marks to them for making the effort to brighten it up I say! It definitely got my attention. I was just really, really impressed by that. And I wish my pots looked so nice. Anyway - having seen that I thought I'd give them a try the next chance I got - which was today.

Feeling in the mood for something 'naughty but nice' (and did you know it was Salman Rushdie who coined that catchphrase for the cream cake adverts back whenever it was) I decided to try a piece of home-made Amaretto cheesecake. A wise choice. It was light and fluffy and I enjoyed every single calorie it contained. They serve many other splendid things ranging from a full English breakfast to Mediterranean salads of Feta, humous and Haloumi. So clearly I'm going to have to go back and try those now when the opportunity presents.

Now don't get me wrong, I've nothing against Costa, I do use them from time to time and at least they pay their taxes which is more than we can say for some. But how much nicer it is to use an independent.  I'd always rather to do that wherever I am and especially in the town where I live. They are trying hard and deserve our support.

And it's great to  know that it's not just Old Town that has some great coffee shops, cafes and what not. Whichever part of town you are in there's somewhere nice to go - and I'm thinking too of the cafe in the central library and Cafe Ambience up at that end of town.  A regular cornucopia indeed. Our (coffee) cup runneth over!