Coffee shops are giving me a shipwreck vibe right now. That strange eeriness of a thing that was once full of life and now silent. Nothing more than an empty shell, everything inside abandoned in a hurry.

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I have bought coffee in here twice since moving to Old Street, it is smack bang in the middle of what is only a five minute walk to work. But it always looked busy and the staff in there were genuine and really friendly. It is a shame to see it currently closed. The leaves sprouting from the tree outside are the only signs of hope, with the concrete seats designed to look like pillows as empty as the streets around it.

One thing I did notice is the unique shape of the building, I am usually walking underneath it so it hasn’t caught my eye before. Crossing the road to get a full shot I could see the zig-zag/ crooked pattern of the whole building. The apartments look nice. If you can’t have a garden right now a balcony will certainly do.

I have neither, but a walk to and from work makes up for that a little.

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

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43 thoughts

    1. I guess every cafe must be thinking that, as only a couple are open around me. Pret a Manger (a big chain here) has opened up again for takeouts, but the majority of independents are still closed. Sad but I hope they are doing okay!

  1. Only the drive thru’s are busy, gone are the ppl hanging out in the lots and socializing or sitting out on the patios or even waiting inside… Do you have drive-thrus there?

    1. We don’t have so many drive through’s here as I think most people get by using public transport. Especially for coffee, usually the only drive thru’s I see are American companies, McDonald’s, Krispy Kreme and the like.

      Maybe we will see more drive thru’s as a way of running a business with minimal customer interaction here!

      1. Sounds like the name of a pub πŸ˜€ I am sure there is one somewhere.

        Hopefully the owners of this place come back though! What a strange mystery that one was…

  2. The architectural design is interesting. Yes, the interiors of non-drive thru coffee shops are barren here as well, I prefer small business ones over the Corporate ones. Take care, be safe.

  3. I gotta admit, that’s the thing I miss most of all is the chance to just sit in a coffee shop and chat with random folks or read a good book or whatever. Even when I was bored off my rear, it was still something (and the smell of that coffee in the air…mmm…)

    Drive thrus are always full at the Starbucks around me, but I’m just drinking my own at home as much as I can. Got plenty of grounds and creamer for the next several weeks. It’s the routine, I guess, that makes it worth it, seeing some of the same people each day. Even on a crappy day, I could enjoy a slice of it with a fresh cup of coffee and a minute or two or chatting.

    1. Even the things we felt were a little boring seem so exciting now don’t they? At least you will be saving money having coffee at home (and saving time not being stuck in a queue!).

      But all will be back to normal at some point πŸ™‚

  4. I love this post. And the photo is beautiful and quite an inspirational writing Prompt. Would love to be able to use it for my writing group if possible?

  5. We are in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Although many cafes had to close due to the tourism coming to a standstill, the ones that remain open still get busy with expats. Especially at certain hours during the day.
    Great post, Sam.

    1. Hey Leighton, thanks for the kind words!

      Shame so many had to close, but I am pleased to hear some are able to stay open currently. How long have you lived in Cambodia?

      1. Hey Sam, I’ve only been here since January. Although this is actually my second spell in SR. I also did three months back in 2015. At the moment, I’m working on a series of articles about the cafes and restaurants of Siem Reap during COVID-19. Meeting business owners and hearing their stories of closure and battling for survival. Thanks for the follow on Instagram. All those London shots are making me a little homesick, ha.

      2. I only landed in London in September, so I have really enjoyed exploring (when I could!) the city. I would love to hear more of your experiences over there, and how businesses are coping. I hope they all come out of this okay.

        I am starting to put together some blog posts from other bloggers, about the pandemic and the experiences in their corner of the world. If you would like to contribute I could send you my email over Instagram and I could put a post together with your insights and share it with the community. Let me know if you fancy it! But regardless I will keep an eye out for your posts.

        Many thanks for commenting and following me back!

      3. Hey Sam, I am from London (Hammersmith), so curious as to how you’ve been finding it there and what you’ve been up to. Sure, feel free to get in touch over IG and we can chat about the possibility of contributing. In the meantime, you can see my latest Siem Reap post on my homepage at Leighton Travels. Cheers!

      4. Thanks Leighton, sorry I am only getting round to responding here now. Thanks for letting me know about your post πŸ™‚

  6. As a writer, I spend a lot of time in my local coffee shops and a favorite pub. It’s been tough to adjust to writing in a different atmosphere, but more so I’ve been fighting with de-motivation from sadness and concern for my barista and bartender friends. I miss the community of these places and I know those very social servers miss us too. And my heart aches for the financial hardships these industries and these kind souls are having.
    We’re able to do take-out from all these places, and I’ve done so a couple times from my favorites – just to try to help them. But the experience of going in to pick up coffee or food is tough – like visiting a friend after they’ve lost a loved one. They are required to have all chairs up on tables, and some have pushed everything back so it’s like stacked storage. The gaping holes where the gathering spots used to be correspond to the hole I feel inside.
    The one staff member that’s up front to interact with for payment and pick-up tends to gush with desperate gratitude. You can tell they are lonely and somewhat shell-shocked by it all.
    I’m rather glad our local espresso drive-thru just reopened. I feel a bit better protected from exposure if I get coffee there instead, and I know the baristas there too, so it’s a small social moment. But it also feels almost ‘normal’ instead of like the end of the social world.
    I’ll continue to make an effort to do take-out occasionally, but I hope the local shops can open in a more social way soon. Even if they must have only a couple tables or only outdoor and sparsely spaced seating for the summer.

    1. I can imagine it is hard to get a take out in the coffee shop you love sitting in, thankfully some of these places are able to provide a service and it is lovely that you are contributing to keeping them afloat.

      Even if we see small steps to relaxing social distancing (when it is safe to do so of course) that is better than nothing. And I hope more local shops and drive thru’s can start doing business again.

  7. I love the look of the building, and I am looking forward to the future posts that you mentioned. I am sure that those cement pillow seats are not very comfortable though.

    1. I can confirm they aren’t comfortable! Haha. But thank you for the kind comments, and I hope you enjoy the posts πŸ™‚

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