A while back, Helen posted on Coffee Shop dreams. It's a lovely post about giving up what you're doing now for 'a simpler life like running a coffee shop'. Firstly, I need to publicly thank her for inspiring me on a brief about, well, coffee shops.
Secondly, I'd like to share my own coffee shop fantasy. Now I'm happy with what I'm doing, I know I'm very lucky, but sometimes.........
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to jack it all in and move to St. Ives, my favourite place in the world. I imagine learning to surf properly and running down the hill every morning towards the beach. I fantasize about wearing sandals all year round and being able to smell the sea every single day. But how would I pay for all this?
There are plenty of places to eat there, and some are amazing, but they either fall into the expensive and complicated camp (you know, pan fried this and that drizzled with a balsamic reduction) or into the fast food camp. Don't get me wrong, both are great, but I'd love to do something different.
I wonder what would happen if I opened up my own little place. It wouldn't have a theme as such, but it would be reasonably priced. Everyone would be welcome and it would serve simple, delicious food. The kind of stuff I cook every day. Really good meatballs, my wife's lasagna, my cassoulet that's lovingly evolved over ten years, my sisters chocolate cake, my signature curry and fish pie, my brother in law's amazing roast potatoes and genius paella. Not to mention mushroom risotto and stuffed peppers.
Lovely home cooked food that wasn't on the menu because it was fashionable, traditional or anything like that. Just honest, delicious food that we know people really love to eat because friends and family always ask for seconds (and maybe we'd offer that in our little place too).
A place that turns a decent profit, but really exists for the joy of cooking and watching people loving your food. That's what I would do if I ever took leave of my senses.
It will never happen, but at those times when it's 7am, and you're struggling to make a creative brief sing, it's a lovely little dream.
So while I'll still post the simple half hour recipes, I'm going to throw in some harder stuff I've picked up along the way. Until I've got my fantasy little place it will have to do.