At some point of the journey, I realized that leisurely visiting tourist attractions and admiring the views in peace had reduced into minute estimations of timetables. The M25 circling London had changed to the M3, which descends to southern England, and this in turn to A303, which winds through the hilly English countryside dotted with fields and sheep. But we did not have time to waste, as there was so little of it, and so much to see.
Only when I realized in Bournemouth that counting the minutes was affecting my performance as a tour guide for my relatives, it was time to slow down and let the hours pass by as they pleased. But to attain this serene state of mind and accept the inevitable passage of time, I needed my own little break – a coffee break.
So I left my relatives to enjoy a half an hour freedom on the beach, and climbed up to city centre Bournemouth with my ever so calm sidekick.
Bournemouth is a well-known beach holiday destination in England – and even though I am not one to spend much time on beaches, on this particularly hot April afternoon there was a certain charm in the city with old-fashioned mini Tivoli, old piers and the pale Englishmen running joyfully on the vast sandy beach. But all this hilarity I abandoned to taste some coffee in the Espresso Kitchen, which had been recommended to me as best in town.
The high street in Bournemouth did not impress me: it was like any other city street in England or Ireland. But, as a welcomed contrast, Espresso Kitchen’s small space, decorated with red wood, surfing board, coffee equipment and a massive coffee menu, made a pleasant, soothing impression on the Crumb’s soul hardened by the grey and long motorways.
There were two choices (not counting the third, decaf option…) on the bean menu, which can also be neatly found on Espresso Kitchen’s website. I chose the Ethiopian variety, with hints of chocolate and malt, and my side-kick went for the berry flavoured Columbian.
In spite of all the deliciousness around, I wasn’t completely able to forget my duties as a tour guide and asked the Italian barista directions to Durdle Door. After muttering a few sentences, she politely informed that she couldn’t reply at the moment as she had to concentrate getting the coffee’s temperature exactly right. Ah! My cup was really a business of the heart here, noted my coffee loving soul. And while the barista was busy at work, a group of youngsters by the counter gave us directions to our next target. Bournemouth seemed to be both cheery and friendly English city.
The coffee from the beans, grown in Ethiopian Henna forest, was delightfully balanced and fresh, perfect for a hot summer’s day in Bournemouth. We had just enough time to stroll across the central park sipping on our coffees happily before heading back to the parking lot where the rest of the group was already waiting for the transit to the next target.