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Archive for the ‘Starbucks’ Category

I think most people know I spend far too much time in Starbucks. And I’ve got a Gold Level reward card to prove it.  But super sweet coffee (“Can I have a tall, skinny hazelnut latte please?” Yes, I know what I sound like) and free Wi-fi? There isn’t actually a better way to spend lunchtime while at work. Although that might be because I work in a slightly disappointing area of West London.

Thankfully, I don’t live in the aforementioned disappointing area of West London. Instead, I live in an area of North London that is so bloody amazing that I honestly dwell on how great it is ALL THE TIME, as well as constantly wonder out loud why I didn’t move there sooner? (Answer: I didn’t want to. I’m reminded of the answer every time I do choose to wonder out loud within earshot of the people who tried to convince me to move…).  And in this amazing area of North London, not only is there NOT a Starbucks nearby, but there is such an abundance of coffee shops, tea rooms and cafés, that I probably wouldn’t visit even if one was to crop up.

Fred & Fran is one of the abundance. Found on a quiet residential road, a minute away from Stoke Newington Church Street, Fred & Fran is a small, simply decorated and cosy ‘Artisan Coffee House’, serving, as well as Square Mile coffee, a good selection of drinks, homemade sandwiches and cakes.

Cappucino

Free serve yourself water, so you can hang round and rehydrate while you ogle the food choices of others.

My chocolate, mandarin and almond cake was worth braving the rain for in itself. Sweet and tangy with just the right amount of almond, I was a bit sorry that I had to share this with Mr Three Small Apples. If I hadn’t borrowed the money off him (it’s cash only) to buy the cake and coffees in the first place, I might have told him to get him own.

Fred & Fran:  55 Kynaston Road, London N16 0EB

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I know I recently swore off Starbucks after a bad hazelnut latte (the first one had too much water in it… the second one had too much coffee… the result? Queasiness and having to go to bed without dinner. I’m such a wimp) but I can’t not get excited about the red cups at Starbucks.  I’m just programmed to be a sucker for marketing.

The first toffeenut latte of the year didn’t induce any sicky feelings (maybe I’ve just had hazelnut syrup overdose? I have been drinking it for about 6 years) which is a very good sign.  Let’s hope the first gingerbread latte is just as successful.

And maybe this year, I’ll try an Eggnog latte? Gotta take a risk sometimes (!).

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God I miss Borders.

Borders, starbucks, magazines, cafe

Where else could you go and have a hazelnut latte and spend 3 hours reading all of the international and biannual fashion magazines that you couldn’t afford to buy?  £10 for a glossy magazine? No thanks… but I might just read it while eating an apple and cinnamon muffin and I promise I’ll be careful not to get crumbs on the pages.

But those days are long gone (probably because of people like me who very rarely bought a book from there…whoops! Come back…I’m sorry!!).

Is there anywhere else in London where I can go and brush up on the newest sartorial knowledge (and perhaps eat cake) without being given the hairy eyeball?

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