Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Things I miss, part 1: ready meals, carrot cake and Starbucks

So, I've been here nearly a year already, and there are certain things that inevitably make me think wistfully of home. ("Home" is fairly fluid concept for me, but that's another topic for another day... here I mean England!)

Things like standing in GB (sorry, Carrefour - old habits die hard!) longing for a ready-meal that isn't lasagne or moussaka or pizza with mushrooms on it. Oh for my Pimlico Sainsbury's, with rows and rows of every variation of Indian and Chinese dish at a bargain price. (If I'm going to spend 7 euros on a main course, it probably won't be on a ready meal in the Gare Centrale.)

For any entrepreneurs out there (or just Sainsbury's, if they want to start exporting), that is a definite gap in the market.

Also, while we're on the subject of Sainsbury's, their carrot cake. Any form of English kind of cake, really. I didn't even realise it was English. And yes, I know I could just make it, but if I'm the kind of person with the kind of lifestyle where I miss ready meals, do you think I'm likely to bake?

And, on the subject of cake... and therefore of coffee... (not so tenuous a link as you might imagine...)


I know, shame on me. And, to be fair, it's not really Starbucks I miss. If I could have absolute free choice, I would go for Costa. Better coffee, still the comfy chairs, and those white chocolate and raspberry muffins... And less of the American capitalism. Which I mind a lot less these days, and would mind still less if they wanted to invade us with a Starbucks of twelve. It's the ubiquitousness of Starbucks that I miss too. There's always one when you need one, particularly in London, when you are trying to boycott them.

I've found places with relatively comfy chairs (Haagen Dasz near the Grand Place for instance) but what I haven't found is anywhere that serves a decent latté, and/or a coffee that takes more than two sips to drink.

Today, I had two and a half hours to kill and an article on Cadbury (sniff) to write, and all I wanted was a Costa coffee latté.

Anyone know a n y w h e r e I can go with this kind of craving? Other than the airport, I mean, which I am seriously considering paying a visit to, just for a banana nut muffin and a tall latté...


fiona lynne said...

Firstly, how about making friends with you oven?! Ready meals and shop cake - tush! I see I will have to take you under my wing ;)

Secondly... it lacks the comfy chairs of course, or any chairs for that matter, but there's a takeaway coffee place on the main concourse of the Gare Central Station which does Costa-style lattes if that's what you're looking for.

Claire said...

I haven't dared try the one there for fear of being disappointed, but if you say it's worth it, I'll give it a try.

And very happy to be taken under your wing! :)

Claire said...

Okay, your other comment seems to have disappeared (not sure how that happened, thought I clicked publish, by anyway...!), but writing devotional sounds like something I'd love to do... by the way, how do I subscribe to them?! Thanks... :)

Horrible Sanity said...

Hey Claire,

I wanted to respond to your comment you left me on my blog.

Because I think that writing daily is important, I tend to some "free writing" daily. Free writing is where you take a set amount of time, I'd recommend no less than 10 minutes, and write whatever comes to mind. Be it a grocery list or the first chapter of a book. Just write about can always go back and put it into perspective later. In free writing, any form goes...a list...a poem...scribbles...whatever.

Hope this helps. Good luck. :)