CoffeeBeer >> Double Shot Buzz >> Ginger


When I discovered a new cafe had opened in Broomhill, just up the hill from Collegiate Crescent where I now have to work occasionally, I decided to take advantage of this displacement from my normal stomping grounds to stop in. As there are no buses taking me from where I live to Collegiate Crescent, I was disappointed to discover the Friday on which I needed to make this walk was the only rainy day amidst a trend of dry days.

Fortunately there was no wind and the rain was more of a mist, so I actually enjoyed my mildly soggy walk, even though my shoes and socks were getting soaked. As I entered the neighbourhood of Broomhill, passing by the orange-frontaged Butcher and Catch restaurant, the bright orange Five Rivers Coffee Company, and the orangey-red El Toro tapas bar, I suddenly realised that, for some unknown but possibly prophetic reason, I was wearing my bright orange top. And here I was walking to a place called Ginger. As a mostly orange Stagecoach bus drove past, it occurred to me that we’ve been waiting for our kitchen, half of which has been painted orange ever since we moved in, to be repainted. So was this some sort of aurantiacal sign?

Ginger is located at the crossroads of Glossop Road and Peel Street. When I entered I found a single large picnic table in the centre surrounded by little tables and benches around the side and back walls and a long window counter lined with eight stools. It felt very comfortable and friendly, and there were four individual customers, all busy writing away on their laptops and phones. My double dry cappuccino was served in a rich mint green cappuccino cup with white interior and demitasse spoon, so the presentation looked quite nice. I found the coffee itself, although quite good, was way too smooth for what I was hoping for and craving, and combined with the extremely mellow and sweet music I could easily have fallen asleep in my cosy corner table. Was this really what I needed before work?

Perusing the menu I noticed that they offer a Babyccino for 50p. I imagined hyped-up toddlers hurtling and screeching about disturbing the cafe’s mellow atmosphere, so I naturally had to look this up. Apparently it’s just a tiny cup of chocolate milk sans coffee, so I suppose it’s harmless enough. Aside from the espresso drinks and a selection of teas, they also have a variety of more appealing-sounding soft drinks from Firefly and Sodada Kombucha (Aronia and Grapefruit, for instance, or how about a Rhubarb, or a Gingerella ginger beer) as well as wine.

For breakfast or lunch they offer a variety of toasted breads with toppings, toasted flatbread from the Welbeck Bakehouse, sandwiches, quiches, salads, soups -- and of course pastries and cakes. Some of the more interesting dishes include a bagel with cream cheese, cheese, and ham, vegan sausage rolls, avocado sourdough toast, an extra mature grilled cheese sandwich, and a tortilla Española -- in other words, all the trendy offerings you could desire. And in the interest of carbon miles, their chocolate and cheeses are made in Kelham Island, the coffee is roasted in the city centre, and the jam and marmalade are made in Nether Edge. The couple sitting next to me with their little dog were having lunch, and I have to admit the food looked pretty good.

As I was about to leave I noticed the cafe is directly across the road from La Vaca Steakhouse, which just happens to have an orange sign. When I was a child I passed out once, and when I came to in a dreamy fog everything appeared to be pink. A couple of years later I passed out again and everything had a green tinge. This made me wonder if I had actually been having a coffee at Ginger on a Friday morning before work. Or had I simply fainted and was waking up in a ginger-coloured Broomhill?

Speaking of ginger-coloured things, which includes cats, reminds me of a recent short email exchange with my Bay Area friend:

I read recently that for the past 35 years, telephones in the shape of the cat Garfield have been washing up on a beach on the Iroise coast of Brittany. Recently they finally discovered the source. In 1983 a cargo ship lost a container which has been found in a secluded coastal cave in the cliffs at Plouarzel. Apparently the remains are partly buried and nobody knows how many Garfield phones are still in there, just waiting to burst free and float across the sea in order to terrify beachcombers.

Fortunately it's a long way to the Pacific Coast, so I think you're safe for a few years. An article about that popped up in one of my news alerts. That article mentioned how many shipping containers are lost at sea and how the plastics eventually break down into tiny particles that are ingested by fish and make their way into the human food chain. We may already be ingesting tiny particles of Garfield and Hello Kitty. Wow, just think about the fact that those harbour-fresh cockles and winkles and pinks that we used to nibble at the pub on Sunday afternoons back in Folkestone were probably 75% plastic! Oh well, I suppose that's no different than a lot of the junk food that people live on from the supermarkets. I suppose not having developed a huge craving for lasagne, nor having developed a pot belly, is a sign that I haven't ingested too many Garfields.