Costa cafe in Sale is set almost at the edge of a bustling town centre on the southern side of the River Mersey (of Beatles fame). I often drift in when I have ended a shopping trip. This time is no different as I am tired and my feet hurt after traipsing around looking for that perfect coat I need for the winter.
I love the food here, rich with a choice of hot or cold and the usual large choice of coffees and assorted drinks. I have a penchant for hot cheese and tomato toasties but shhhh don’t tell anyone.
I am here at the end of a long shopping day full of pushy shoppers and missed sale deals. It is one of those lovely pre Christmas, autumnal days I adore. One of those heady days that remind you of younger times and the excitement of late autumn leading up to winter nights spent in front of log fires with mulled wine and mince pies with stockings pinned to the mantlepiece.
The floor of the cafe is swept with dry orange leaves brought in by the harassed looking shoppers being served by smiling, un-harassed servers.
Lots of people are bustling past, trays in hand, families with small children determined to explore every area of the place, until the parents notice, rushing up and grabbing tiny hands with low mutterings of admonishment. People watchers whispering behind their hands to each other as people walk past them, “ooooo I like that bag!” “Oh, she looks tired!”
One couple look like they are on a first date. She smiles, embarrassed, as he puts her sugar in her cup for her. You can just see the slight curl up of her mouth as she looks away from him to hide her face, pretending to look in her bag.
The man to my right is conversing loudly, trying to show everyone how intelligent he is, whilst his lady friend (no wedding ring) sits with pursed lips unable to get a word in edgeways. To my left are two ladies, obviously finished a heavy shopping trip, bags laden with Christmas goodies for their families, enjoying a hot drink with what looks like the remainders of muffin wrappers scrunched up on otherwise empty plates.
A young girl works steadily on her laptop, oblivious to the stray toddler running around the tables squealing with delight, and the whole place teems with chat, clinks of spoons against china, and the smell of hot roasted coffee.
Half a cup later and the rush has quietened down, each new customer straggling in met with a lovely smile from the till operator. The two coffee makers have settled into cleaning the counter and having a chat and all seems to have relaxed.
I am going to now put this away and enjoy the rest of my cappuccino with extra chocolate and do some people watching of my own.
I hope I see you here one day. Come and say hi if you do 🙂