my quest for the finest coffee in london took me to the caffeine triangle again today.
i had an hour before i had to drive over to parliament square for a shoot and i found a parking space on golden square with surprisingly little effort.
the challenge was on... to drink a coffee at each of the three points of the caffeine triangle and to make a comparison.
so... firstly i dropped in to the beak street branch of fernandez & wells
and had a stumpy. just about perfection
then i swung into caffe e vida
and had a latte with an extra shot. hmmm, nowhere near as good.
finally i skulked across golden square to the nordic bakery
and had a strong latte with a home made biscuit. very nice.
i must admit that i had the right old 'hattie jacques' by this point, but i was in a very good position to rate all three places having just sampled three coffees in under an hour.
my findings are:
fernandez and wells: the best coffee. hands down the winner of my best coffee award.
cracking food too. v friendly staff and a nice vibe.
on the downside i would say it's a little cramped and not the sort of place you can linger or particularly relax.
vida e caffee: the coffee is good, just not as good as the other two places. it's possibly the quietest of the three and has lots of seating and perhaps best of all, lots of good magazines and newspapers to read. free chocolate with coffee, friendly staff and they do a loyalty card.
the nordic bakery: very good coffee, very cool place even after 3 years it still seems fresh and stylish. no music, beautiful interior and definitely the sort of place you can linger for a long long time. the staff are sweet and the food is very... well... nordic i suppose.
in summary it depends what you're after. if it's purely a great coffee head to f&w. if you want to chill, head to the nordic. if you want to relax and read some expensive magazines and people watch, plump for vida e caffe
by the way, as soon as i got to my shoot maybe 30 minutes after leaving golden square, they offered me a coffee straight away !... i settled for a glass of water.
when our kitchen was being built a couple of years ago there was a gap at the end of the units. the designer asked if i'd like some shelves to fill the space. he asked how many i would like and how far apart they should be. i told him that i wanted them to be configured so that i could fit a football in each space. no idea why i said that... perhaps i was seriously thinking about exhibiting three footballs in the kitchen ? it sounds like the sort of thing i'd do.
anyway, this is how they look today.
on the bottom shelf...
a couple of years ago on the final morning of my first trip to tokyo i wanted to spend my last few yen just before i caught the bus to the airport. the nearest shop to my hotel was a 7-11 and i spent my last few bob on bottles of salt. well, i thought they looked nice and also i could pack them easily into some trainers i'd bought.
my artist edition beer bottles. from left to right: jeff koons, tracey emin, yoko ono, damien hirst... er and then some that i can't remember.
and top shelf...
a very important piece. a dumb luck rabbit, signed by the artist gary baseman.
the story is that this rabbit is so dumb that he cut of his own foot for good luck !
for my birthday a few years ago, jackie gave me this...
it's called a uten.silo and was designed in 1969 by dorothee becker.
it hangs on the wall just outside my office and is something i look at every day.
it looks great when it's empty and then when you add things to it it becomes your own little work of art. an ever changing piece of art too.
some of the things i can see on this photo are:
a jesus action figure, two obey vip bracelets, a sew-on patch, new york subway fridge magnet, japanese breath fresheners, some floral handled tools, a key-ring from western samoa, paul frank union jack wallet, wrist compass, pez dispensers, g.i. joe, matches from a now defunct restaurant, mexican playing cards, a spirit level given to me by michael marriott, a tin angel of guadelupe, passports, a sample piece of paul smith leather a miffy magnet, note from jess, chopsticks, spongebob toy, underwater torch, corkscrew, eames house of cards, maps of tokyo, nyc and madrid subway. a booklet about the nutritional value of food served at white castle, various key rings and phone ornaments, permanent markers and a mark whitfield cd.