If, like in the story of Cinderella, a fairy godmother should just happen to make an appearance one day and grant me three wishes, I would find one wish very easy to think of, the other two would be trickier. I have met my Prince Charming, and even though he is nothing like the dashing prince in the fairytale, he is in my eyes, perfect for me. So no wish wasted there. I could wish to be six inches taller and six stone lighter I suppose, but I’d need to add that I needed never to pile on the pounds again, or I could be less selfish and wish that people less fortunate than myself benefit somehow. Now, the one wish that I am certain I would love to be granted for me is to be the proud owner of my very own cafe or tea room and if I had to choose between the two, the cafe would pip the post.
So forget all of the hard slog that goes into running a cafe and for the moment and lets just picture my fantasy cafe. Ideally it would be the hub of the local community, either by the sea (Cornish or Dorset coastline please) or in a bustling city or town. Mr R and I have talked about combining a cafe (my dream) with a bike shop (his dream) near well used cycle routes, but in all honesty we know that working together would be a total disaster and a sure route to the divorce courts ! In my little cafe, I dream of welcoming regular customers so that I can call them by their names and get to know something about their lives.That’s me just being nosey of course! How lovely to have a stream of people just passing through as well. It would be a place where friends gather, lovers hold hands over the table, meetings take place or just somewhere where you need a few minutes to yourself enjoying that perfect cup of coffee or tea or a plate of something scrummy. The counter would be groaning with cake stands, plates and trays of fabulously delicious baked goods. Bowls of amazingly healthy salads and pots of wholesome soup would take pride of place at lunchtime together with wonderful homemade bread. And of course not forgetting the imaginative daily specials.
When we lived in deepest Kent we often went to a teashop that was transformed one evening a week into an Italian restaurant. It was no longer called The Olde Worlde Tea Shop, but rather Casa del something or other. The chintzy interior disappeared to be replaced with red and white checked table cloths and candles in raffia chianti bottles. Cliched but fun. What had us returning though was the very limited menu of great, simple italian food. Homemade bread and olive oil to start, a choice of three pasta dishes followed, with the most delicious tirasimu to finish. All washed down with take your own wine.The only thing that ever so slightly spoilt the evening was having to listen to Nessum Dorma all evening! These simple meals still stick in my mind as being some of the most memorable I’ve eaten, and so my fantasy cafe would now and again be metamorphosed into a bistro, tapas bar or maybe something else entirely.
Of course in the real world, running a cafe is incredibly hard work and never nine to five. You need a business head on your shoulders as well. As far as I know, that’s something I don’t have. Apart from baking the odd batch of cakes etc, I have no experience in catering on a commercial scale. I have the enthusiasm and passion but not the skills or money go it alone. But I believe you should never give up on your dreams and where there’s a will there’s a way. So who knows,one day you might just see me proudly serving behind my counter, chatting to my customers or beavering away in my kitchen preparing the most delicious goodies. I even have a name for my premises…The Ginger Moon Cafe. Don’t forget, if you happen to pass, drop in, say hello, find a seat and stay a while.
Counters groaning with cakes, pastries and other delicious goodies
Somewhere to sit and gaze into each others eyes!
Mostly a cafe, sometimes a bistro, sometimes something else.