Thursday, 26 April 2007

Cafe Society

It is easy to form the impression that journalists of my generation have spent an inordinate amount of time propping up the bar in pubs or private members clubs. While that may well be true, it's worth remembering the role of the humble coffee bar in helping power the presses of England.

As someone who started his career in the 1950's, I fondly recall afternoons spent over a 'frothy coffee' in the Cafe Bango, an establishment that has gone the way of the Doctored Dog, I'm afraid. At least one of my favourite haunts from my days in Preston is still very much alive and frothing.

Of course, time has moved on apace since those days. We live, apparently, in Cafe Society. Hardly a high street is without a Starbucks, a Costa Coffee, a Caffe Nero or a Coffee Republic.

I am of the generation that remembers Coffee Republic in the days before the coup. There may have only been one newspaper in the rack, and the choice of coffee was rather limited, but at least the owners of Coffee Dictatorship guaranteed to deliver it to the table on time.

What price progress?

3 comments:

Julian Syngen-Smythe said...

Ah, I too used to adore the Coffee Dictatorship.

I used to really enjoy going into their shops between lectures, and ordering a large Pinochet Latte, or a foamy Mussilino...ah, good times.

Good times.

- Julian.

Bill Blunt said...

Yes, Julian... who indeed could forget the foamy Mussilino's? Well, I did, obviuously, so I am greatful for the reminder!
Ah, if only the days were now as long as our fond memories of those times.

FrippyLino said...

What price progress, you say?

About £1.90 for a shot of coffee and a touch of aerated-milk that costs about 5p to prepare.