Coffee on the Throne

When researching a holiday destination I always check out atlas obscura for weird and wonderful places that appeal to my warped sense of mind.

The Attendant Cafe popped up when I was researching London and I thought this place is a must visit for me. I was literally busting to go there. Almost a Scott trifecta combining my love of coffee, love of plumbing and potty humour.

The cafe is built in a disused underground toilet. It truly is built like brick shithouse, because that’s exactly what it was.

What else can I say about this place? Firstly it’s In Fitzrovia one of the most poshest part of London. You don’t have to be flush with cash to visit here, but you will have to spend more than a penny.

I was worried the coffee might be a bit shit or piss weak, but it was pretty good.Food wise there wasn’t a massive selection. I was hoping for a piece of chocolate log or a brownie, but settled on a almond croissant.

If you need to go, the Attendant can be found at 27A Foley St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 6DY.

Off to London (Again!)

It’s precisely 253 days since I called out from the study “Hey Sharon, Thai have an amazing deal on flights to London with a stopover in Bangkok, do you want to do Europe again in September”. Of course the only sane answer to that is “YES!”. So here we sitting on a plane heading for London to visit the Queen yet again.

I have a feeling the Queen is probably sick of us by now, these pesky antipodeans keep showing up and expecting tea and scones. She might even like one of the 5000 Tim Tams we packed for the journey. I’m sure Lizzy is thinking “don’t they realise when we banished their ancestors 232 years ago it was an eternal sentence”. She needn’t worry, the silver is safe, the only thing we are stealing this time is the ashes and a few of team Australia managed to do that that before we even arrived. They need to be somewhere safe when Brexit hits anyway.

If/When Brexit does happen we might find the Queen visits us a little more instead. I’m hearing it’s already easier for us Aussies to get through the immigration line, maybe we are forgiven for past sins, even if only quietly. When the proverbial hits the fan blood could actually be stronger than nice French wine. Isn’t Boris a bit of a Russian name ? You might want to check if Putin had a hand in that one too guys.

253 is also probably the same amount of times I’ve checked our passports over the last 24 hours. These days it’s the only essential thing, everything else is electronic or can be bought or replaced when travelling (well maybe except the ashes. Don’t lose that on the way home boys)

Our team Harrison shuttle bus arrived early at 5:45am this morning to take us to the airport, which was a great sign but then we were tortured for an hour having to listen to Alan Jones rant about something on the radio (first world problem #623). As Sharon suggested, we were liberated of some brain cells listening to that for an hour. I wanted to travel light, but that’s not quite what I had in mind.

At Sydney Airport I had my required two coffees and they managed to liberate plenty of cash for that experience. The coffee wasn’t too bad, but at $6.50 each you would expect them to be ok. Sydney airport food makes Copenhagen look cheap.

The first leg of this trip is on a 747 to Bangkok, I didn’t expect to fly a 747 again as they don’t do lot of passenger service any longer thanks to more efficient, newer jets. This one is 19 years old and it was noisy and rattled and shook about on takeoff like 747s do, but there is something reassuring knowing it has 4 engines. I will miss them when they are truly gone. As you would expect on a 19 year old jet, no inflight WiFi either.

Emma probably curses us for passing on the short genes however they worked in our advantage today. Somehow we got pulled out of line waiting to board and were asked to board first with families that had small children.

If Alan Jones didn’t manage to kill a few of my brain cells, the woman sitting in front of me almost did, dropping a full steel drink container onto me when loading the overhead storage area, missing my head by a few millimeters. Yep, hell truly is other people.

On my Instagram post I ended up quoting part of John Denver song “I’m leaving on a Jet Plane”, which reminds me of one of my most favourite dad jokes. Q. Why is John Denver’s music like his aircraft ? A. Ultra Light and down to earth.

Maybe these aren’t the sort of jokes I should be thinking of sitting in a tin cylinder at 30,000ft in the sky. Thankfully 747s are the antithesis of ultra lights. And I don’t think I’d be caught dead with John Denver on my playlist.

See you later Australia !

Hello Thailand ! (Photo credits to Emma. I taught her well)

Coffee @ Home

Arrived home late last night so coffee today was my first back at my favourite Café in Engadine (Steam Brothers). So good I had a flat white and a latte. Must admit after a few weeks without it, Vegemite is heaven on toast.

Changi Airport Singapore

I’m on the final leg of the journey home, back at T3 at Changi for the flight home to Oz. The checkin was a T3 but the plane actually departs from gate C1 which is technically in T1. Plenty of time to walk or take the skytrain. You can walk all the way around through T1, T2 and T3 but will take some time as the airport is massive.

Checkin area is massive. No queues.

Coffee was at Hudson’s, for an airport coffee not too bad. Better than the one I had here just over 5 weeks ago on my way to London. Apparently it’s the only Hudson’s store outside Australia. It’s pretty much standard chain based coffee, I certainly wouldn’t seek it out at home.

On the skytrain between Terminal 3 and Terminal 1

Lots of things here at Changi to keep weary travellers entertained between flights and waiting for departure. All of these are on the “air side” of the airport after passing through emigration.

The Lilly Pond garden.

Interesting display

Carp pond

Cactus garden

Butterfly garden. Unfortunately only thing active at this time of the morning was a moth.

You can watch the planes go as you go !

And the plane is here, with a little rain outside

Singapore, Happy Happy!

After I arrived yesterday, checked in and had the obligatory Singapore Sling by the pool I headed out to look around for dinner.

I settled on one of the oldest Hawker food centres in Singapore, the Telok Ayer Market. I had a fantastic Thai beef dish. Absolutely delish.

Singapore is certainly one clean place and obsessed with health and hygiene. One of the reasons I love this city. Each food stall is rated from A to D on a food safety / hygiene scale.

A – You could basically eat of the floor

B – Yeah, pretty good

C – Would you really want to chance it

D – This will probably kill you

For reference, almost all the food stalls in the Hawker centres are B rated. Only one was rated A which was a sushi place.

The metro (MTR) here is really good, seems to go most places. The hotel I’m at has one right next to it, you can get to it via the mall right opposite to completely avoid the humidity here.

When on the metro, after the English announcements, there is one that sounds like “Happy Happy Platform” It couldn’t possibly be that, so I googled it and it’s “Berhati hati di ruang platform” – Malay for “Please mind the gap between the platform”.

The MTR also have lots of little rhyming cartoons asking people to be mindful of other commuters.

At the metro stations, no free phone charging for you!

Even in conformist Singapore these share bikes are treated with contempt. Saw plenty of broken ones here.

My wifi router at home looks like it’s finally packed it in, so went looking for a new one. They have a shopping centre dedicated to geek stuff. They had the one I was thinking of, but the hassles of brining such a massive box home far outweighs the cost saving of buying it over the web at home, so I didn’t bother

Today after my awesome coffee I went down to the gardens at Marina Bay. I didn’t actually go in, the crowds were insane and they wanted $35 so I just walked around the outskirts of it and took the shuttle bus around it

Pictured is the famous Marina Bay hotel with its equally famous infinity pool. This is where I really wanted to stay, but at around 3 times what I’m paying for where I am, which is already a fabulous hotel, I wasn’t prepared to hit the wallet for that one this time just to swim in the pool. It would have to be a fantastic swim for $1000.

I did a little shopping, all of it for Emma since I went past one of her favourite clothes shops.

Before packing for the last time and heading out to find some dinner I had a dip in the pool here and a cocktail.

More than halfway home, Singapore has been an awesome place to break the journey in two and readjust to the clock in the part of the world. Daylight hours flight home tomorrow.

Went across the river to Clarke Quay for dinner. Plenty of nice food options here. All seemed to be rated “A” on the it might kill you scale. I had Mexican. Once the sun was down walking around outside was really pleasant.

Coffee For The Common Man

A friend of mine who lives in Singapore sent me a list of potential coffee places to try here (Thanks Janice!). One on the list that wasn’t that far from my hotel was “The Common Man Coffee Roasters”. Not only close but the name piqued my interest so off I went late in the morning after a significant sleep in.

Before even entering I could see this would be good, hardly anyone around and the place was pumping with people and a small queue had formed for tables. Plenty of awards posted on the walls for things they had won over the years

I think even the Baristas were surprised at how busy they were today they took a break from their coffee making for a few seconds to take a snap of the crowd on their phones, so I used that as an opportunity to ask them if I could take their photo, as I was sitting right behind the coffee machine. They of course obliged

The coffee was exceptional of course as I’d trust Janice on any food recommendation any time.

I had a granola with fruit and Greek yoghurt for brunch. Also delicious.

Now to work out what to see here in Singapore before flying home tomorrow.

Goodbye Europe

Sitting here in terminal 2 at Heathrow having my last coffee here before my flight to Singapore. It’s called the Queen’s Terminal, and I’m sure she really loves it, but doubt she ever comes out here. I wouldn’t either if I owned the Royal Air Force and wanted to fly somewhere.

Two weeks ago right here the coffee was really good, today it’s average. Different Barista. I must have been super lucky two weeks ago.

Random shots around the terminal.

Gate announced, it’s in the second part of the terminal, 10 minutes walk away.

Home for the next 14 hours until we land in Singapore.