Coming home from university two years ago was a time of mixed emotions. I was sad to be leaving friends behind, leaving a town that, over three years, had become a second home. Then again I was returning home to old friends and family and familiar surroundings.
There were two things that I would really miss about the town centre at uni. One was the superb HMV store which regularly fed my appetite for new music and DVDs. The other was the coffee-houses. They were a new phenomenon to me when I began uni in 1999 but I grew so fond of them I even ended up buying my own coffee machine. Cheltenham had Starbucks, two Costas an Italian Coffee Co and a Soho Coffee co. Lots of variety and lots of different Mochas.
So for the last two years my irregular visits to Cheltenham or Birmingham have been a blessing – a chance to visit a real coffee house, something Hereford has lacked – until this year.
Imagine my delight when Costa opened it’s door a few months ago. Gorgeous coffee and a gorgeous house! Then, like buses two came along at once. This week the Holy Grail – Starbucks finally got it’s barista's a brewing in Hereford. After two years it was a sheer disappointment. Sure the coffee was gorgeous, that familiar taste I’d missed but the surroundings were awful. The café is small and cramped. The tables no bigger than the plastic imitations you fed your teddies tea parties around when you were three. I missed the large airy surroundings of the Cheltenham branch with big comfy sofas and study tables for the next days assignment.
Looks like I’ll be drinking from a paper cup in the future.