Coffee was required. I had been on the go since 4.45am and it was now almost 11am. I had driven 4 1/2 hours to London and despite a couple of on-the-move coffees I needed sustenance. The carrot cake was waving at me too.
I found one of the few remaining tables and sat down.
I love this place. I was deep in the foundations of the National Portrait Gallery on Trafalgar Sq. and a few steps away were an exciting gathering of photos by David Bailey. The grand building felt tasteful, popular and welcoming.
I glanced around the room at the selection of people there. Couples, small groups and two or three tables with 2 women sitting chatting. The ladies opposite me were maybe 60 ish, smartly dressed and obviously good friends who had met for a day together.
I began my cake and enjoyed the deep, rich coffee.
“Is that carrot cake?” she gently asked. One of the women opposite had left for a while and it was her friend who was asking me.
“Yes, it is, and it’s delicious! I make carrot cake myself so I like to try others to see how I can improve.”
“Oh, I can tell you are a cook from your hands! I can always see creativity in people’s hands.”
And so we continued. She found out where I lived, why I was here, when I was returning and how exciting being a new grandma was.
Her friend returned.
The original lady started to tell her all about me and what I had done that day and where I was heading and with great excitement they wished me a fabulous time. Then they left.
I sat back and finished my coffee, smiling to myself and knowing that my tale will be related to whoever they ate dinner with that night. And who said London was an unfriendly place! Friends are there, you just have to be friendly.