Tag Archives: latte

Coffee with ‘Friends’ at Central Perk…

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 20th August 2012

Central Perk, Liverpool

Joining me- Tannie

Having a longing to go to New York and yes do the sights I was looking forward to my cake and coffee at Central Perk. Arranged like the cafe in the Friends series, this is a novelty to visit and meets the requirements of my friend-comfy sofas. 2 satisfied customers should be leaving!

We took our places on a large comfy sofa and armchair. Arranged in sections with tall tables and stools, reminiscent of the sit com. There was a relaxed vibe with an American feel. Links were everywhere to the characters such as Chandlers classic- a speciality coffee and the wifi password- smelly cat. Our latte, cappuccino (sm, med and lg options) chocolate button cupcake and white chocolate cheese cake arrived. They looked great. It wasn’t long after the plates were empty. Tannie let out a ‘mmmm’ as she delved into the cheesecake, one spoonful later and I knew why. They were delicious. Moist, melt in the mouth and moreish. The coffees were also satisfying without being bitter and a full cup.

There was a buzz around us as young coffee enthusiasts, couples and friends all relaxed whilst tucking into their refreshments. It seems that coffee and cake go hand in hand here. Refreshments are written on chalk boards and in keeping with the American feel soda, Hershey bars and cupcakes are on the menu. While Monica, Chandler, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe and Ross go about their business on  the 2 large tv screens in frames on opposite walls.

It was a very hot afternoon but the cafe was cooled with drawn back windows. This place does not feel like your usual coffee shop. It is very informal and different. There didn’t seem much else happening outside around it but it definitely is attracting attention.

For an hour I pretended  New York had come to me. A lovely time was spent here and I would call again . Central Perk goes on my recommended list. If you’re a Friends fan you should try it at least once.

One of my other reasons for visiting Liverpool was to see the Monet exhibition at the Tate Gallery. Let’s be honest there was really only one picture I had in mind that I wanted to see. The Water Lilies. This is one of the pictures as a student I had on my walls in my grotty student digs. I was excited to ‘see it in the flesh’ so to speak.  As I walked to the gallery I sat on a bench facing the Mersey and thought what a great city. The hustle and bustle a stones throw away from the docks filled with culture and the Liver Building stand proud in the sunshine.

The last  time I visited the Tate there was an exhibition of a video of someone being sick. This is called modern art. I don’t understand it. Each to their own but there’s something about this type of modern art that I think is a little pretentious and I’m sorry but I don’t get the appeal. Today did not persuade me otherwise. On the first floor I saw small Monet paintings the rest was on the 4th floor so,  I worked my way up through the gallery. On floors 2 and 3 Conversation pieces was the title. One picture was a red square on white canvas. That’s it. Would it be on a wall if I’d painted it? Which I could have.  I work with primary children and they could do that .  The information said ‘colour takes on a life of its own’, really? It’s still just a red square on a white canvas. Another piece was a coat hanger covered in mod roc, surely not difficult? And the pier de resistance- a pile of clothes and personal belongings (phone, money)in a corner. Apparently an artist stripped naked and someone collected his clothes. Now they are ‘art’. In that case I have a great deal of fortune in my bedroom as I leave a pile of clothes on my floor on a regular basis. And I would advise anybody to keep random drawings your children do as you will find some very similar basic representations hanging from walls in established galleries. Frame them and sell them!

Isn’t art open to interpretation? Then mine is that sometimes people make something out of something it’s not. As I reached the final floor I truly appreciated art. There before me were beautiful works of art.  First Irises,  tall and strong then,  as I turned the corner, Water Lilies. Covering an entire section of wall in all its glory. Not hiding behind a frame I went as close as I possibly could. Able to see the raised movements of the paint it was so tempting to feel and had there not been so many people around I think I may have tried to get a quick sneaky touch. It was calming and soothing. I sat on a bench facing and admired. And to my right and my rear further smaller Lilies pieces.

Now that’s art.

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Coffee with Ted and Mark Wahlberg…

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August 19th 2012

Cinema-Ted

The sun had vanished behind clouds and the rain was not for stopping. What to do on a wet Sunday afternoon? Cinema. I would have chosen the new Bourne film but most female friends do not support my love for action. So I agreed to watch Ted. Deciding what refreshments to take in with us the general consensus was coffee.

Most cinemas now have a coffee chain on or next to their premises. I opted for a soya cappuccino and biscuits. While Becky chose nachos and latte, despite the comment ”my ass will regret this tomorrow”. And with that the decorum went out of the window for the next 2 hours.

We took our seats, put drinks in holders (take away coffee fits) and sat in the dark waiting for the film to start. I took these pictures in the dark so couldn’t see what I was taking!

There had been a preview for a new film about a girl getting possessed. It looks good but due to it being a true story it would freak me out but, Becky said she’d love to see it. We all have our own tastes. Then when I saw the picture ( to the left), I was a little taken back . Is it me or is there evil in the eyes? Should I start to get worried? Especially after the conversation on Friday in teacup!

Ted started. I must admit I thought it was going to be one of those films were you’ve seen all the best bits in the trailer but, boy was I wrong. It’s brilliant, none stop laughing out loud from start to finish. Well it was for us. Is it because our sense of humour is completely childish or unacceptable that we found it so funny? I say this because during the whole film there was only me and Becky laughing out loud. The rest of the audience had small sniggers at certain parts. I’m sorry but Marky Mark having his bare ass whipped with a t.v aerial by a teddy is funny. Or maybe it’s because Ted takes things too far that me and my friend related so well with the film.

There’s something about certain friendships where people have a bond and things sometimes just go ‘too far’. Highly amusing to you, possibly not to others. Going ‘too far’ is a catch phrase used often amongst my friends and we all have people as our bars to make us feel better after a ‘too far’ situation. It’s always reassuring to know there’s always someone worse than you. Sometimes it’s from drunken nights, sometimes jokes or going into too much detail about things, or sometimes with the opposite sex. And that’s what happens with John and Ted. Cleverly done, Ted manages to get away with all things un pc and crude. That said, I’d like to clarfiy I’ve never whipped any friends’ ass with a t.v aerial!

Take breaking wind (this pops up a number of times in the film). Everybody does it, but not everybody a) talks about it, b) does it in public or c) does it infront of their other halves. Yet, it’s nothing amongst true friends. And that’s what the film is about, friendship. Good long lasting friendship, that stands the test of time and the ups and downs. There is a part where Ted draws on a body, which is no shock to John. This reminded me of one time at school when me and Becky went too far with luminous pink nail polish and drew pink dots all over our faces and hands. This was nothing to us two, quite funny at the time. Not funny to our teacher , or us for that matter when we realised it would not wash off!.

Iv’e never laughed so much at a film in a long time, it really is a laugh a minute. So badly that I needed a loo break but was frightened I’d miss another good bit (when Mila goes to the coffee shop is your quick 2 minutes only). When we got in the car there was the sound of thunder coming from the seat to my right. I glanced at my friend with the knowing look and carried on talking. And there it is, friendship.

Plucking where at Teacup?…

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August 17th 2012

Thomas Teacup.

Joining me-Tannie and Becky.

A quick walk round the corner and we were at Teacup. My last visit was at the Jubilee party and although it was quiet indoors it was manic outside. The service was shocking -getting our drinks (after asking for them 3 times) after we had eaten and a carrot cake that was dry and crumbled so much it was difficult to eat. But it comes highly recommended and so I was open to try again on an average day.

The large counter adorned with cakes on stands is a feast for the eyes. My picture only shows half of the counter! They even have a cake menu-yes a menu just with cakes, even more than on the counter. No wonder cake lovers love it here.

The service was immediate and helpful. Only serving a one sized cup, which is large, I needed something smaller ie less caffeine. The waitress recommended a one shot flat white. Standard is 2 shots in a small glass with a layer of foamy milk. Ordered with pear cake.

It was just what I needed. Served in a small glass was like a cross between a latte and an americano. To be honest it didn’t taste much different from a latte but I’m sure it would with the standard 2 shots in it. One to try earlier in the day. The pear cake didn’t last long . You know when something is good, it goes quiet. Tannie was happy. I was much more impressed this time now Teacup goes into my recommended category.

Becky joined us and somehow the conversation got onto the subject of murderers. I should have known mixing someone studying forensic psychology and someone with an obsession of notorious murderers was going to lead to table talk delving in sexual depravity. How could I not ? This conversation went on a while (we needed to eat again so moved to an eatery down the road). What was worrying was the fact the obsessive knew more than the one studying. She even proudly spoke of how she has visited areas linked to some murders. Thankfully she went on to discuss her fascination was with why people do these horrific crimes. O.k she did also talk knowledgeably about what they did, but I’m not feeling scared in her presence , just yet. From the conversation what I did realise about my friend is that 1) she knows what not to do (so you don’t get caught) 2) she’d plea mentally insane and 3) she reads some twisted articles before she goes to sleep.

From murderers the conversation shifted to the topic of hair removal. Becky explained the procedure she’s recently had for permanent hair removal. Tears to eyes springs to mind, apparently it’s sensitive on the shin area. I didn’t like the sound of having to pluck the dying hairs. Sorry but the thought of tweezers in the nether regions does not appeal to me. Becky had a simpler solution, sellotape. Easier to find than masking tape but not as harsh. I suppose it’s waxing with sellotape. Like de fuzzing clothes but de fluffing the body.

As the numbers start to rise you want to keep yourself nice and neat and not just for the obvious reasons,. Keeping on top of your game, being prepared is paramount. Hair goes grey everywhere. ”I’m not putting nice and easy there” and with that we all nodded. Well what can you say?

And that is the beauty of women’s conversations-the ability to one minute be talking about murderers and the next be talking bikini waxing!

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Florentine heaven at North Tea Power…

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August 17th 2012

Joining me-Tannie

North Tea Power, Northern Quarter, Manchester

Friday coffee and cake is becoming the new friday club. It used to consist of 4 of us meeting for tea and then ending up in a late one and a bad head the following morning. Now it’s become a civilised affair with a love of feeling ‘normal’ the next day, that’s not to say wine won’t be involved again. Tonight North Tea Power was on the agenda to try.

A comfortably sized coffee shop with an urban feel of steel posts and large wooden tables. I really like the feel of the place as although it wasn’t busy you could imagine it as a great place to get chatting to people due to its sociable layout-benches, large central wooden table and outdoor seating. The previous night it had showcased an artist’s pictures ( I found this out through following NTP on twitter) which tells me this is not just your run of the mill 9-5 coffee shop.

To Tannie’s disappointment the cake options were very slim, just the remains of the day on the counter. I on the other hand was not ,large florentines were staring right at me! A choice of alcoholic drinks also available and a light bites chalk board. I ordered my usual (cappuccino) and a florentine and Tannie opted for a sandwich and a small latte. She needed to re fuel after an afternoon exam (psychology, so not so easy-going). The drinks took a short while to arrive which was a good sign as the longer it takes to make a drink the better it tastes. I realised I had not said I didn’t want chocolate on but when the coffee came none had been put on, again a good sign.

The coffees were lush, falling into my great coffee category, which fills the criteria of no bitter afer taste, dense foam like topping and a full cup. The florentine was the best I’ve ever tasted and plenty of it. There are a number of people who choose to sit outdoors so, being checked on by staff could tempt people to have more than the one cup.

We had one small problem. Tannie hadn’t had her cake fix and considering she had just finished her exams she deserved a little of what she wanted. I agreed to give Teacup another try.

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Perfect scone, not so perfect date…

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Sunday 5th August 2012

Joining me-Geordie R

The Terrace Cafe, Lymm

With plans suddenly cancelled and not much to do I quickly checked my phone and was spontaneous for once. Finding a half way spot on google maps I then set about looking for a coffee stop. It was a very hot and humid day and as I walked through the village I realised my choice was not well thought out. Luckily the sound of running water drew attention to a little hidden spot of outdoor seating and foliage. Walking round the back of a building there was a small entrance into The Terrace. A small chic cafe with an intimate dining area indoors and an ideal spot for outdoor sitting on a day like this. Homemade looking cakes on offer as well as other tasty looking bites. I will be trying here for a spot of lunch one day. Great service even if the waitress openly admitted that she’d no idea which was a cappuccino and which was a latte. I taught her the ins and outs my way..simple ”cappuccino usually has chocolate sprinkled on top”.

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Decent large drinks followed, infact I haven’t seen a latte that big in a glass ( my picture does not do it justice) and so did 2 appetising cakes. I had opted for the simple scone which came warm and pre cut (bonus so it doesn’t all break up). Perfectly crunchy on the outside and moist and soft in the centre. The chocolate button slice was moist and in my companions terms ‘fit’ however, the top layer of chocolate was pretty hard so it could have done with being out of the fridge before serving. That didn’t put us off getting stuck in with our fingers.

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Unlike my coffee Friday this one wasn’t smooth but more like youre typical cappuccino from a drive through, very frothy. It’s always good to go large in this case as you know when you start to have a fiddle with the spoon you realise that at least half the drink is weightless froth and there’s not much fluid in the cup. Now before someone jumps up that’s cappuccino I still expect substance with my froth! Having said that it was a nice drink, the size helped.

Good conversation, even though I had moments where I didn’t think before speaking, especially about child welfare. My companion was up beat, chatty, pretty well dressed and reminded of someone from the Madchester scene (the hair). The downside was he was the 3rd guy in a row having ‘issues’ with the ex. This is starting to be a warning sign. Not being too dismissive we agreed to meet again. The gurgling sound that came closer was not from my belly or anywhere else but the thunder storm building over us. I took that as the cue to leave and made it back to my car just in time as the down pour hit. Trying to be a good driver, plus wanting to be seen by other vehicles going very slowly over Barton bridge (I hate it, it’s my fear of heights), I put my small lights on. When I got home I made a rush for the door to save being soaked. A nice afternoon.

Shame I had forgotton to turn off my lights and so had no car the next day due to a flat battery! Having waited for J to arrive home to jump start my car things didn’t go to plan when my leads started smoaking and melting.

Thank goodness for nice neighbours!!