The world seems to be made of cafes nowadays; this afternoon I was lamenting, along with a fellow Sound Cafe guest, the demise of Voodoo. This brilliant, quirky shop sold all manner of colourful and individual clothes, the like of which you can now presumably only get online. Call me old-fashioned but I don’t really like shopping online; unless it’s for something rare or hard to get, I’d rather shop for it in town. But the dynamic is heading more and more to little white vans cruising the streets with parcels which you unwrap in the comfort of your own home, leaving more empty spaces in town centres which are filled by more cafes. Which is odd, when you think about it. Cafes in town used to be places to rest and recuperate after shopping. You’d usually have a cup of tea and a bun, unless you were going out for lunch, and most meals would be taken at home. But now the whole situation is reversed: people shop online at home and eat out in cafes. Weird.
I’m not against cafes in principle. OH and I have our favourites: Fingerprints on Queen’s Rd, St Martin’s and the Peace Cafe in town, and the most recent addition, a place called Six Degrees which is run by a charity and fulfils a need to hang out somewhere on the way into town. But I’d like a few more actual shops. The fellow guest and I were reminiscing about places such as Lewis’s (the Leicester department store, not John Lewis) and Woolworth’s as well as lamenting the imminent demise of BHS. Mind you, M&S seem to be doing better this year, so that’s something.
Six degrees was a bit of a find. We’re used to cafes doing pots of tea with soya milk and herbal selections etc but this one does loose-leaf tea for a very reasonable price. They’re a charity run by volunteers and all profits go to the Open Hands Trust:
Sadly at Sound Cafe they only have tea or coffee so as it’s the afternoon I’m forced to have decaf…