Sunday, 9 November 2008

Soup cup alley

In an effort to let people know that we are not just an eat-in cafe but also do takeaway food and coffee I came up with the ingenious plan of setting up a soup urn with sandwiches and tarts on the outside table at lunchtime. The day before I planned to start the outside sales, I discovered that the butcher shop next door had the same bright idea and had also set up a soup urn in front of their shop.

I consulted with Simon, one of the owners of Blackfoot Butchers, and we agreed that this alley was big enough for two soup urns and that together we could make soup in Charlotte Place what music is to Tin Pan Alley.

Feeling slightly like amateurs trying to sell lemonade, Ulrika waits patiently for the punters to start queuing...

which the English are famed for.

Unfortunately this queue is for the burrito shop opposite us and our queue was a little more modest,

but appreciated.


Inkling said...

hi shelagh,

can't even remember how i stumbled across your blog, but i'm glad i did!

i'm another aussie abroad (originally from perth) so i know what you're saying about cafe culture. it's strange: in parts of australia cafe-lounging is a tradition on an almost european scale - we out-euro britain from 12,000 miles away!

i live in east london and am actually pretty spoiled for choice cafe-wise (broadway market, columbia road, the food hall, chapel market...), but your mushrooms on toast sound well-worth the public transport - so i'll see you soon.

good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hey I came in on Thursday and noticed the rival butchers soup urn, glad you turned it into friendly competition. Charlotte Place is a lovely hidden part of London and the more soup urns the better!

Shelagh Ryan said...

Yes, I think Charlotte place is quite lovely too. All (well nearly all) of the shop owners get on really well and are very supportive of each other. Its the first time I've felt part of a community since I moved to London.

Shelagh Ryan said...

Hi Inkling, I agree- East London has some great cafes. I went to Leila's a couple of Sundays go after reading about it on Tim Styles' blog and found it absolutely delightfully original and a rare reflection of the owner, Leila's, personality rather than something trying to pander to the 'everyman' lowest common denominator.

Our mushrooms on toast rock- you should try them.

Great blog by the way.

Charles said...

OMG you guys are soo cute - I'll come buy some soup next time I'm around