Sunday, May 25, 2014

The bird with a death wish and an amazing cup of hot chocolate

There's a largeish black bird that roosts in the tree just outside our flat here. A crow, perhaps, or a raven. Husband says, however, that it can't be a raven because it doesn't say "Nevermore." Instead, it squawks "Aaaak! Aaaaak!" just outside our bedroom window starting at five in the morning and not really stopping until it's driven us both out of bed. If it's been a great night's sleep, I drowsily think, "Aww, the bird." More often, however, I think, "I'm gonna kill that bird!" and irritatedly try to get back to sleep. It doesn't help that it never gets truly dark in a city like London, sunrise is really early and our bedroom window catches all of its light, and there's a bus stop just outside with all the accompanying traffic sounds. It could be worse, though - we could be staying downtown - and at least I can sleep in as late as I like because we always wait for peak hours to be over before we catch our train into town.

After church this morning - we went to St Bartholomew the Great again - I wanted some hot chocolate. It's been cold and stormy this weekend, the perfect weather for a nice warm drink. So we found a small but extremely busy little French bakery and coffee shop right next to St Paul's Cathedral and I had a thick, rich, dark, and absolutely divine cup of hot chocolate.

That pastry on the left was husband's Viennoise Chocolat - a sort of brioche stick with chocolate chips - and on the right, my almond croissant, which even had an almond paste filling. Our only disappointment was the brisk wind, which kept stealing crumbs (and even almonds off the top of my croissant) and delivering them to the waiting pigeons. Yesterday's Regent Park birds may have been the most spoiled in London, but we think today's might be the best fed. I would cheerfully try every single pastry in this coffee shop!


  1. We have a few Paul cafe's here in DC and I love them. There is one immediately opposite the National Archives where I spent every work day for about four months. The timing of my commute was such that I would get off Metro, walk toward the archives, stop at Paul for a little something, eat it, walk across the street, go through security, and have about a minute to spare before they called out "researchers" and we could all go in to start our day.

    1. That sounds fantastic! Somehow I think research and coffee shops go together like peanut butter and jelly. I didn't realize the chain had made it to the States!