Saturday, August 14, 2010

international roast

lauren, from i was a teenage book geek, expressed a kind of wistfulness that the cafes i talk about here are all on the other side of the world from her. so today i have a little shortlist of the awesome places i've eaten, drunk and sat for hours...all in the northern hemisphere!

the troubadour in earls court, london.

the coffee in the uk is just not as good as it is in australia (hmm. maybe there are places that make great coffee, but i just don't know them. it's possible). but it wasn't bad here, as i recall. this place thinks it is pretty fantastic and so do the hipsters who frequented it while i was there so it's almost definitely about four times less cool than it may appear. however, the staff were strange and friendly. inside the place looks like a gypsy den with all kinds of bric-a-brac and from the outside it's a european nook that draws you in. plus there is an impressive list of people who've played music at the troubadour, including his bobness, mr bob dylan. so there's a tick in my book!
their website is here.

the elephant house, in edinburgh.
a cliche, i know! and i did visit this place in an homage to her highness madame jk rowling and i admit to taking along a pen and paper in the hope i too could one day buy my own castle. but it's a lovely place in its own right. great coffee, excellent tea, delicious shortbread (shaped like an elephant!) and wonderful people. i also found my delightful flat from a poster put up here (delightful is an enormous overstatement).
website here.

la mascotte in montmartre, paris.
'eric, s'il te plait!' though much more wine than coffee was ever consumed here, the mascotte remains one of my favourite places in france. a lovely friend frequents this place with all her amis everyday - they call it the chapel, and head down to pray every day, isn't that a scream?! - and on a sunday there is an accordionist. their short black, aka un expres, is bitter but hits the spot. here is my only picture of the mascotte, a photo of truffle the dog. those are not my legs.
website here.


  1. I might check out the troubadour!

  2. While I've never been to Australia, it would not surprise me if our coffee in the UK just isn't as good at all. I guess as a nation we should stick to tea... but it's just not the same.

    The Troubadour is somewhere I could definitely pop into when I'm in that neck of the woods, so thanks for the rec! I'm now feeling ashamed that I've never been to Edinburgh, and loving the sound of the elephant-shaped shortbread.

  3. yay! i wish i was in the uk are brilliant at tea, so please do not change.
    say hi to the troubadour for me when you go.


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