Costa may not be everyone’s cup of tea – or coffee – but we were pleased when the recently closed Crown pub in Chalfont St Giles became a Costa in 2014. In the months before lockdown Owen, 12, enjoyed meeting his friends there for a frappuccino.
However, the branch has become a victim of coronavirus, closing permanently. The familiar Costa signs are gone, and the interior stripped bare.
Perhaps this was inevitable. Since the branch opened, Costa opened a bigger cafe in neighbouring Chalfont St Peter. If it has to be Costa, you can visit branches in nearby Gerrards Cross, Amersham and Beaconsfield. Since getting a Nespresso machine for Christmas, I’ve made my own latte and flat white rather then popping into Costa before my day’s work begins. Even better, we have the thriving Deli in St Giles, which has flourished despite Costa’s arrival. It does ‘proper’ food, rather than Costa’s microwaved panini. In recent months, we’ve enjoyed the Deli’s excellent Friday takeaway dinners.
There’s a history to the building. It starred as Captain Mainwaring’s bank in the 1971 film version of Dad’s Army, the comedy about the Home Guard in the second world war. We had lunch here in the Crown pub the Sunday after the September 11 terrorist atrocities, still in shock at those appalling events. Later, we enjoyed birthday and anniversary dinners at the Crown.
I’ll end on a poignant note. Just after Costa opened in St Giles, we bumped into Owen’s grandmother Aline there – you can see they were delighted to see each other. Sadly, Aline died just five months later. Some losses are much greater than the closure of a coffee shop or pub.