CoffeeBeer >> Double Shot Buzz >> Previous Coffee Columns >> Olive's Wine Bar
Although the sign above this place says "Olive's The Lounge...Cafe Bar", it's far easier to just call it Olive's Cafe Bar, or Olive's Wine Bar, which is basically what it is. Although I suppose you could call it a cafe, or just a bar, or even a pub, or a lounge, or a live music venue. Or even a coffeehouse. Or somewhere to go have a drink and a bite, or just a place to go out at night.
Whatever you want to call it, Olive's is located on a corner just off Clarendon Park near Leicester University. The reason Andrew and I discovered it on a recent weekend was because we'd driven down to Leicester to visit Calder who was working there. It seems like a friendly, comfortable place where one can have a nice lunch or a leisurely drink. On our first visit we'd just come off the motorway and were relieved to be parked and on holiday, so we sat at a comfy table sipping gin and tonics and enjoying the ambiance. Later we stopped in for lunch because we'd been told that Olive's food is very good, and I can honestly say our feta, pesto, olive and tomato sandwiches on fresh hot baguettes were absolutely perfect. The pizzas look nice and thin and crispy, and so many huge plates of burgers and chips passed by that I assume they must be quite popular here.
Taking a brief brisk walk around the neighbourhood I discovered the cafe is located in a very food-rich street, with Indian, Chinese, kebab and pizza takeaways, a tapas bar, a Mediterranean deli, a Continental bar, and a few other options. No wonder it's so popular with students.
It also seems popular with the Leicester locals who enjoy food, drink, and culture. While we dined we chatted with a friend of Calder's who plays fine classical guitar. Although we always enjoy seeing Paul. I think he was a bit embarrassed when he managed to knock over his beer, steering the entire pint directly into Andrew's crotch. Ah, well, no worries -- at least it wasn't a litre of house red. Or a bucket of treacle.
I suppose you wonder why I'm writing about a bar for my coffee column. That's because Olive's is one of those multipurpose venues which also serves as a fine weekend breakfast haunt. On Sunday morning, while killing some time before an afternoon of jazz, we stopped to have an espresso. I must admit it wasn't exactly a spectacular espresso, but it was certainly pure and basic, and obviously the machine is well cared for which is important. Perhaps a cappuccino or a latte, perfectly acceptable with a big breakfast, would be a better option here.
On a completely unrelated subject, here's an e-mail exchange from last year with my Bay Area friend:In the Saturday Times magazine there is an article on Offlish, the new language of work. Rather than send you the entire A-Z lexicon I'll just put together a paragraph using most of the usage samples. If you find a comfortable seat sit quietly, breath deeply a few times, and then chant the following words, it's so eerie...you can see the pointed goatee and raised eyebrow of Larry, our mutual boss (back when we worked together in aerospace) materialising in front of you...