This Week on Oxford Road: the Workhouse Coffee Company

What a gauzy-blue, summer-breezed day. September is really whacking the irony-meter this year. Everything became glorious on the first day the kids went back to school.

Well, no complaints here. No school uniforms in the Jeffcoat wardrobes, yet.

Instead, Henry and I walked into town, ran a few errands – let’s sit down sometime and discuss the Paperchase autumn collection, because I am DYING – and then walked back. I kept my tracker app running accidentally the whole time we were in town, and did you know that with a mile-and-a-half walk each way plus dithering around the shops, we covered over six miles?! Don’t let anyone tell you that shopping isn’t good for you.

On the way back, Henry bellowing discontent from the pushchair, we ended up here.

The very coffee shop, if you’ve been keeping track, that started my Oxford Road musings in the first place. Doesn’t it look a bit, well, nice to be opposite a furniture clearance shop and a urine-bespattered Londis?

In we went. It was easily spacious enough inside for my pushchair, and decorated in a sort of heavy-wooden-counter, mismatched-chairs, Victorian-railway-station kind of way. I liked it immediately.

We ordered a hot chocolate and a slice of cheesecake. But what they really do is coffee. I need someone to go with me who drinks coffee, so it can be properly assessed. If you were wondering, the hot chocolate came with one of those exciting foam swirls on the top, but was dark and could’ve used some sugar. (Next time I’ll ask for some.) The cheesecake was excellent. They also sold Fentiman’s soft drinks, organic milk and quite a few types of cake, mostly at prices considerably lower than Starbucks.

The nicest thing about it was how tucked away and forgotten-about it all felt. There were newspapers, magazines and encyclopaedias to read, and it felt like the sort of place you could come and read – or, write! – for quite a long time without anyone raising an interrogatory eyebrow. You can’t move in Costa Coffee without some mother with sharp elbows and a panini glaring at your squashy armchair and empty mug.

Now, if they can just work on that hot chocolate, I’ll be a regular. Maybe I’ll drop in some Cadbury’s.

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