If I am honest my real perfect start to a Sunday is an impression of an armadillo, curled up and ignoring the world… but I guess
we all need to find some reasons to get up, even on a Sunday. The day my resident housekeeper decided we were moving out of London back to Cardiff I did have some fears and trepidations… particularly about Sunday mornings. After all, this Wales joint is known for its fire and brimstone parable-ranting preachers, scaring the hell out of the morning-after-the-Saturday-night-hangover-crowd. Back in simpler times Sunday morning always seemed to be the perfect antidote to having a good time!
Well, it seems like my tea-drinking homie, who says coffee at home just isn’t right, has discovered the place to be for the best in coffee. It was Iris Murdoch who once said “Coffee, unless it is very good and made by somebody else, is pretty intolerable at any time.” So if you are going to reserve this pleasure as a reason for leaving home, it needs to be consistently good; after all, Justina Chen once said “Adventure in life is good, consistency in coffee even better.”
Now I must admit to being a bit dubious about any place calling itself Numero Uno but it does tweak my interest to see if it can live up to its self-imposed challenge. I am told that a few of these coffee houses, with a particular spot down the un-castled end of Cardiff’s Queen Street, live up to the name. Not that I will find out for myself, as Karen says she is allergic to cats! Though I think it is more to do with supporting Tottenham Hotspur myself. Either way, I decide to send my personal coffee taster to experience the arduous challenge of sitting around in relaxed comfort while slurping the most important part of the coffee bean’s journey (a whole journey pictorially represented on the wall) and sampling a fine selection of the sweet and savoury stuff.
‘So tell me oh laid-back one, what is your perfect vision for a Sunday morning?’…
‘Ok, also tell me, my surrogate cappuccino-gargler, what makes this place worth visiting? Could it be a combination of all sorts of restored furniture, comfy chairs and sofas, fabulous coffees, delicious sausage baps, almond croissants that blow your mind, carrot cake of door-stopping proportions, and an eclectic mix of laid back music?’ Being succinct of answer they said ‘Yes, to all of that’. Fortunately for me, other people had more to say for themselves on the subject of coffee…
Cassandra Clare once said “As long as there is coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”
Marcia Carrington once said “A morning coffee is my favourite way of starting the day, settling the nerves so that they don’t later fray.”
Dave Barry once said “It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.”
‘And what of the welcome?’ I enquired of my newly found ‘coffee quotation repeating machine’… I am told the staff are very friendly and welcoming, and even regularly come out with the most pleasing of phrases… ‘Take a seat, and I will bring your coffee over to you’.
How civilised it all sounds; after all, us cats like nothing more than sitting around being pampered. I even hear that this place is populated by talented as well as friendly staff, with Marta in the picture doing a bit of the running thing (which only makes sense to me if there is another animal to chase), and Jadon developing as a talented artist. I can think of no better way of getting a Sunday started than letting talented people do all the work while I reap the rewards… the difficulty I am told is wanting to do anything else, at least until the football and beer step into the void later in the day. As for me, a busy Sunday is really all about finding the sunny spot and having a stretch.
However, it seems that my resident deluded writer doesn’t see this as the place only to be reserved for a perfect Sunday morning. While that is a relaxing quiet newspaper reading time, this is also the place where they seem to disappear off to for a break from the office at home… to people-watch the office workers doing lunch, the students studying, the shoppers chilling-out, the families gathering, the friends chattering, and the workers meeting for that all-important information-sharing decision-making time away from the workplace. Clearly these workers haven’t taken to heart what Ronald Reagan once said (or was that more than once?) “I never drink coffee at lunch, I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon.”
This place feels like a throw-back to good values of the past, and at the same time feels like a contemporary part of a new culture. Fortunately, it is not stuck with some of the stranger coffee drinking experiences of the past when hot & wet was more important than quality. Jarod Kintz once said “I told the waitress I wanted some coffee. She asked if I wanted leaded or unleaded, so I had to leave the restaurant. I quit drinking gasoline years ago.”
Coffee#1 at Queen Street lives up to the name, and my surrogate pleasure seeker does the skinny cappuccino and carrot cake thing occasionally just to torment me, I’m sure.
I have been Juno for yet another Sunday morning, and on the basis of many reports I suggest that if you value all that is good in life get to a Coffee#1 as soon as you can. I will speak with you again, as soon as I can stop thinking about that carrot cake while staring at the rocks I get served up in my bowl.