People who have got to know me over the years will realise that I'm a reluctant champion of anything Australian. Wine - too 'big' and too much tannin; music - stadium rock for surfers; cities – suburbia based around shopping malls; food - burnt shrimps or fusion; fashion – beachwear, and beachwear; bars – need I mention the Walkabout chain? The list goes on. And don't even get me started on their sports teams. If it wasn't for the fact that I find the people so damned nice I would have nothing positive to say about the place at all.
Except I do have to concede (reluctantly) that they do good coffee. Great in fact. And nowhere is this better represented in London then Taylor St Baristas.
My ‘local’ is in New Street off Bishopsgate, which despite stiff local competition (including cheekily, a Starbucks directly opposite) is proving a hit with local coffee connoisseurs. The pretty young things are strapping (with some decidedly camp) Australian men who know their coffee and keep the mostly male, European client base very happy with their superb service and beautifully produced drinks.
Drop in any time of day and the queue in an admittedly small space, will be nearly out the door, a situation that is often exacerbated as excitable Italian bankers debate the nuances of coffee making with the baristas. Food is secondary, but always top-notch. The ambience, buzzy and busy is cheered along by the enthusiastic staff, all of whom seem to remember your usual order, if not necessarily your name.
So there you go – great beaches, great sunshine, the greatest rock (Uluru) and great coffee. I think that’s enough praise for one blog.