Mary Poppins had her priorities right. Go to a cafe with penguin waiters, start with raspberry ice and then some cakes and tea. One day, I’m going to find a cafe that serves raspberry ice and cakes and tea and I’m going to have a Mary Poppins style lunch. Might have to veto the penguins though, y’know because health and safety and animal rights and hygiene and stuff. I love penguins. Give them all the freedom and all the fish.
Until then, I shall continue to search for warm, friendly, quirky places to chill with my gal pals and pretend I’m in an episode of friends.
Recently, I went to visit one of my bestest ones, the Phoebe to my Monica, in her new, little, fairy lit home in the absolutely adorbs location of Leigh-on-Sea. Once together, we decided to go for an adventure (she dragged me outside and I couldn’t say no.) I have never visited the area before so wanted to take everything in… however I kept getting distracted by cute dogs. There were so many dogs! And puppies in coats. Tiny dogs, in tiny coats. I almost imploded at how darn cute they were!
As it was my first time visiting the area and since my friend didn’t creatively supply me with one of those badges that says ‘first visit’, like they have at Disney, she decided cake was the next best option. So, she whisked me off down many tiny roads that all looked the same, at one point there was an ocean view and a cocktail bar, but we ended up at the incredibly popular cafe: ‘Stop the World’.
Honestly, it was uh-maze. There was a cake list as long as your arm, possibly longer. I had the Autumn Toffee Apple cake; a spiced sponge cake with apple filling, a toffee layer on top and vanilla buttercream. My friend had a gluten free chocolate brownie (yes people, they do gluten free.) There’s also a giant tea list, fancy coffee, milkshakes and soft drinks as well as more filling food options such as omelettes and a full English WITH a veggie option. I meaaaannnn… what more do you need in life?
Oh, what sorry? You need to be pleased aesthetically too? Well, one end of the room has a gigantic disco ball, the other has a 50’s inspired display case, straight from the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Something for everyone. But what if you’re the outdoorsy type? If you fancy sitting outside in this freezing cold weather like some kind of sadist, you can snuggle up with a blanket in your seat and enjoy your treats that way, and all of this to the rhythm of those guilty pleasure tunes that everyone knows the words to but doesn’t want to admit to knowing.
I sang along to ABBA, very loudly. I didn’t care that I was in public. My friend didn’t care either. She sang along too.
Something that did intrigue me was the Red Velvet Latte. A latte (coffee and a whole lot of milk) but with vanilla and chocolate in it too…and I’m guessing hella food colouring or something to make it turn bright red. It was also served in a glass tumbler, rather than a mug. We were wondering if it was a smoothie or something when it first appeared, until I touched it, jumped and suddenly exclaimed, like an utter div, ‘Oh my God it’s hot!’
Uh, duh. It’s a coffee. Of course it’s hot. Moron.
But hey-ho, that was our excitement for the day.
The moral of this story is cake is good, try new things, visit new places and old friends and sing ABBA really loudly in public without humility.