Today’s Guardian carried a lighthearted editorial ‘In praise of … a simple coffee’. It praises Debenhams’ plain English coffee menu. Goodbye to latte, hello milky coffee.
The story made me think back to coffee time with Mum in 1970s Cardiff. South Wales has long been associated with Italian cafes: a legacy of the arrival of scores of people from Italy during the 19th century boom years. Mum and I used to go to Ferrari’s on Wellfield Road near Roath Park. I’d enjoy a frothy coffee after visiting the toy and book shops on Albany Road, or the library.
Years later, I discovered cappuccino. It took a while before I realised that it was exactly the same drink. But usually a lot more expensive – with the honourable exception of the 50p takeaway latte I bought in Giraffe in Richmond this morning!
Before Ferrari’s (and before you were born!) it was Berni’s in Caerphilly, on the corner by the station. Other drinks from that era were: ice-cream soda (Mum used to have one in a cafe in Pontypridd where Dad and I would meet her for lunch after court reporting), sarsparilla (spelling according to Google; we called it sarsparella) in the sarsparilla cafe in Morgan Arcade and – going back to the frothy coffee – Dad would have one in the milk bar that used to be on (I think) Charles Street by the side entrance of Boots. I was too young for coffee, so used to have a hot orange squash served in the glass cups the coffee came in- very sophisticated!. Oh – and the hot Bovril mentioned in my comment on your blogpost about the Empire Pool.