Hello lovely reader!
Here I am, still in bed: nursing a sprained ankle and reading my new fashion tomes with Feist’s “The Park” on repeat.
…But let’s get to the point.
I want to take you out on a date. To my newest, most favouritest cafe on Oxford St (Paddington). I’ll pick you up in my Lamborghini with a bottle of Verve in the back.
Ready? Alright darling, let’s go!
When I walk you into Ampersand Cafe and Bookstore, you’ll be greeted by very friendly baristas, (but not too friendly; you’re my date, remember). The one with the little beard will be wearing his bowler hat, and he might give you a wink. I’ll buy you a large latte, and a huge serving of Eggs Benedict AND the Apple and Berry Crumble (because you are lovely and don’t need to watch your weight). We will talk for hours as the soft morning light tilts through the open windows, nestled in red velvet arm chairs and watch the hustle of Oxford St speed past us.
Where would you like to sit, my dear? On the ground level you can sip your cappucino with a group of cheerful strangers on the sidewalk (on the little communal tables and stools, surrounded by colourful murals on the brick walls).
That might sound good, but I think I’ll take you upstairs to the second level. There, it’s like being in a great uncle’s library.
“Welcome to my estate”, he says in his silk dressing gown, waving cigar ash nonchalantly onto the Persian carpets. “Make yourself at home, my dears. Feel free to read the books, I’ll have your breakfast sent up. Be sure to try the eggs, they go so well with EM Forster!”
All the books in Ampersand are for sale. So we can read poetry to each other over breakfast and I’ll buy you a first-edition as a keepsake. After the second round of coffee and large slices of cake, we can browse through the floor-to-ceiling shelves of fiction and art books upstairs, then meander down to the lower ground level to the non-fiction. You’d like a $1 bargain book? Of course! Outside on the pavement. And just between you and me, any place with Gertrude Stein on the wall deserves my eternal respect.
If, for whatever reason, you would like to return to Ampersand Cafe and Bookstore without me (please don’t tell me it’s to see the barista), find it here (78 Oxford St. Open 7 days).
Here are the books I bought for you:
“The subject of underwear can still evoke smirks and titters but it arouses a kind of sociological fervor in me, for whom its history sheds light on women’s long battle to attain freedom and social equality. I hope to show that it gives insight into our past and perspective to our present…” — Elaine Benson, p. 9.
After our date, you’ll keep the books and a takeaway latte, and I’ll treasure the faint scent of Dior which you leave in the car.
Don’t worry, I won’t forget to call.