On my way back to the station to get home from an early morning meeting in London, I was desperate for something to eat (and also the loo), so walking from St Pauls to Euston station (a fair old walk, but quite enjoyable at 11am on a sunny winters day), I was looking into every café, thinking, I wonder if they have a toilet and I wonder if I can sit down in there. There were so many beautiful looking, independent cafes, but so many to choose from that I didn’t stop.
Retrospectively, I should have stopped at the first one I saw, but I kept walking and the closer to Euston station I got, the more chains I came across; the likes of Starbucks, Costa, Café Nero etc. Now as a self confessed coffee and café lover, I can’t deny that I do love these chain coffee shops, but when faced with such a medley of independent coffee shops, it felt like sacrilege not to go into one.
I finally got to Euston station and realized that the abundance of independent coffee shops had disappeared and I was really going to have to search if I wanted to avoid the station chains and not the greatest loos.
Wandering down the streets behind Euston station, I came across Wot the Dickens café, at 3 Woburn Walk, London WC1H 0JJ, England. I was running out of time, so, although not quite the snuggly café I was after, they served food and coffee so I sat down and ordered smoked salmon and eggs on toast and a coffee. This is when I realized that there were no toilets. To some people, this may not be a big deal, but to me, it really is and always has been as, without going into too much detail, I fairly regularly suddenly require a toilet immediately; so of course, I will pay to use public toilets, or purchase something in a pub, restaurant or café, but I realize I cannot always assume that every establishment will have a toilet.
I know am not the only person who has to consider the whereabouts of toilets when I go out; my sister and some friends also have to, and my sister also has numerous food allergies so sometimes has to walk out of a cafe if they do not offer free-from/soya etc options. So given that I frequent cafes pretty regularly, I decided to set about putting together a directory of all the cafes I visit and what facilities they offer, so I can quickly look them up and see if the facilities they offer suits my requirements at that point in time…and if I have a directory that is useful to me, why not share it, so others can also use it!
It is not my intention to slate establishments that have not got certain facilities, as that is their choice (or maybe not even in their control) and it would be a very boring world if all cafe’s offered the same facilities, it is purely my intention to help potential patrons to understand what coffee shop is most suitable for them.
…And there started the beginnings of this blog. A directory of cafes and their facilities, plus a documentation of my ultramarathon training.