Coffee Shop 001 – Carluccio’s, Chiswick High Road
One of the ways I pretend that I’m a proper blogger (and not a mum blogger who’s constantly juggling 50 balls and dropping them all over the place!) is hang out in Chiswick and West London coffee shops with my trusty relatively new MacBook.
I’m pretty spoilt in that one thing Chiswick is not short of coffee shops. It’s not short of estate agents either, but I’m much more likely to spend a precious hour buying a cup of coffee than I am buying a house. Lottery win not being forthcoming.
Today I’m grabbing a precious Sunday hour in Carluccio’s, Chiswick High Road while Chiswick Boy is at Holy Communion class in the big Catholic Church on the High Road, Our Lady of Grace.
Table for one
As a chain, Carluccio’s is pretty good, although the acoustics are always terrible (not that this matters if you’re a happily alone blogger looking for some writing time, it just makes it tricky for group meals.)
The one bug bear I have with it, is that if you’re on your own they always try and put you on one of the tiny cramped tables down the middle of the restaurant, while you gaze lovingly at the empty banks of padded cubby-hole style seating around the edges.
To my shame, I should say that the last time I came to Carluccio’s I walked out because they wouldn’t let me sit on a comfy seat that was next to the only charger in the restaurant. Shameful prima donna behaviour I know – but then again, if my computer has died and I can’t write, I can’t really justify having a coffee and staring into space. (Plus my blood sugars were probably low!)
The Goldilocks effect
Anyhoo – here I am again. And because it’s only 11am and I left the house for church without any breakfast, I’m having porridge. I have porridge a lot in cafes these days. Once you have got round to the fact that you’re paying a fiver for a bunch of oats that cost pence, and that 20 years ago when you first come to London you couldn’t even afford a cup of tea in a cafe…well once you’ve had that chat with yourself, you realise that porridge is a pretty good thing to have in a cafe.
Porridge keeps me off my beloved pain au chocolat, as I am embracing a more healthy and low carb 2018. I know porridge is carbs but somehow it feels worthy.
Carluccio’s porridge comes in a pretty bowl, with a lovely pile of stewed fruit on top. At first I thought it was a pile of potatoes and got really excited (potatoes being on my not-have list at the moment due to attempt at healthy eating outlined above).
Carluccio’s, Chiswick High Road:
The damage: Cappuccino (£2.65) Porridge (£4.99)
Beware: Hard to get one of the nicer seats if you’re own your own
Wifi: Yes – no log in needed
Plugs for low-battery: Very few, and unlikely to get one if you’re on your own as they’re with the larger seating
Coffee rating – taste: 4/5
Coffee rating – size: 3/5 (Small cups)
Coffee rating – presentation: 3/5 Pretty, branded china
Coffee rating – crema (that lovely foamy sludge you get on top that makes a coffee a coffee): 2/5
Porridge quantity -4/5
Porridge taste – 3/5 – would have liked it to be creamier
Porridge extras -4/5 – stewed apples (possibly pears) on top and a small amount of red berries mixed into porridge itself
Atmosphere: 5/5 – I don’t know what it is about Carluccio’s but I always find it quite buzzy. The music’s fine, the coffee machine is nice and loud. It does feel genuinely Italian.
Reading matter: 0/5 nice l
Staff friendliness: 2.5/5 (polite, but rushed off their feet and a little scary.)
Hopefully it’s obvious, but just in case – I visited Carluccio’s incognito and paid for everything myself.