It's been 2 long. Decided to update this but please don't raise hopes of me ever finding time to review rate or read. Real life too busy. With all respect who are, hopefully when I'm retired life will slow down!? Hugs! x
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Costa Coffee-TI PREGO.
Reminds me a little of Italy which I miss .
Smoking allowed . Expensive .
Value for Money
Standard of Service
Standard of Menu
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Costa Coffee Bar-or if you prefer,Boutique,are springing up all over the place and no self respecting city or large town these days,would be without them. Most of us british are aware of them now,as they have been around a respectful amount of time,and proving popular with all age groups. Certainly the costa is less crowded in my area than the cramped and stifling "Starbucks" and I must say that the HotChocolate;(though nowhere like-or as high a standard in taste and thickness,-or as inexpensive as the standard itallian ones!sorry!-the favourite bar my husband and I used to frequent when we lived in Naples,Italy!was the best,ever.) the costa coffe is my main reason to keep abreast of my chocolate addiction.And-to a certain extent remind me of lovely hazy -pre married days of italy!!
I don't actually drink tea or coffee,and the costa offers the customer a whole lot more than just that,(apart from including the standard,good old earl grey),but- more importantly for me-their herbal teas,starting at £1.79 a cup Which is the same starting price of an ordinary tea/coffee) in the mint and cammmile variety. Cakes? The itallian Biscotti;(almond bricks to you and me);delicious croissants and "cioccolata "pastries: 95p and £1.75 respectively- rolls, sandwiches(strictly English) and even some Ciabbattas,with various fillings,aswell as the obligatory lists of all manner of coffees such as the "Moccha",and other flavours and types... Near the door is the freezer /chilled cabinet for different drinks;pepsi,cans etc. as I have said a hot Chocolate is a must visiting the Costa,and a small starts at £1.79. the medium size,is called la:"grande" and the two- handled soup taureen size is £2.15.(Very greedy!!) Cream is an extra 30p on top.You get 2 "free"(?!) chocolate flakes (minature ones!) with the medium mug size that I usually order,and they are generous in their quantities (Even for someone like me!!)
My only gripe is the Smoking ! STILL allowed on designated tables.. (Hell on earth if you are not a smoker,and just trying to enjoy a snack in peace and comfort!!) The space between these tables,when very busy,is sadly inadequate for us non smokers,you see, and you know how far smoke drifts!(sorry to all you smokers out there,but I consider this anti-social habit repungant any where NEAR my food,especially when I'm trying to eat it to say the least!)But please, don't send me angry messages in my guest book will you?!
Opening hours vary from coffe bar to coffe bar-the standard 7.30-7.00pm.is about the norm.
STAFF:Fairly friendly,without being in your face,and as they are kept busy,full brownie points for the dithering; "can't- make -up -their minds- types" like me! They are Usually young,to keep up with the pace(?)and more often than not,students;though this isn't always the case; And hey,I even found one or two OLDER than Me!!
My particular local costa coffee is located in The Meadows,Chelmsford Essex, (conveiniantly found bang next to the Mexican eating house which is equally snazzy,fairly hip,and upmarket.(also a competitive alternative-especially if you are starving.) Just take the Army and Navy roundabout exit into town,follow the bend round,until you get to the Multi storey.A 12 minute walk down the hight street into the meadows from there-or approach it by the Blockbusters video shop.Park there,and walk through the Meadows from there,less than 4 minutes away.
Decor,Atmospere and Furnishing:
I suppose this is where the Itallian culture and design really starts,in a sort of british way..lol. I like all the chrome the light,chrome polished tables and chairs,neatly arranged,the neatly stacked shelves around the back wall of the counters,the unfussy,retro clean lines of the tables outside,with the Chelmer river to look at,either at night,or on a sunny day...the itallian and french tasties on offer to tempt the taste buds-and for the snobs amidst us-not one sight of a chip pan,the ketchup bottle,or the stained menus!!
I like the characterful brown tiled floors,the plain walls which COULD have had the occassional rich coloured interesting pictures..-from my usual seat,none to be seen at all!! For the coffee fans; Along the counter,at the far end, decoratively arranged bowls filled up to the top with fresh lose coffe beans- the distinctive aromas;The costa-ricco,The mexicano,the Morrocan bean,The deep glossy rich brown of the Brazillian,etc etc etc.. There was no music playing which at 9.30 in the morning was agreeable for me-but I can understand the missed abscence of this at night.. During the day this costa is not too crowded. the best time to go really,depending on your age and interests,I spose. This Costa has two floors,the downstairs is a wee bit small for my taste.
QUES: not bad here at all.
Any other gripes/comments: There aren't any Business cards with their address and phone number. (I did ask)or individual menus you could take away with you, to muse over, should there be a bit of a que,and you'd prefer to study at leisure...also,if you have a headache the clattering of cups could get you down. Hygeine is pretty good,though when busy it's a wipe down DIY job-yourself!!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: A nice stylish place to hang out-all ages to cater for really,(though because of the price layout,and style mainly best to be baby,child-free/pensionless,but not nessesarily so,as there are Baby and toddler changing rooms.-So there!)
During the day I have seen more middle aged persons in here than others.At weekends far busier,and more children.. BE WARNED: You need your wallet here to afford the prices..
A second Mortagage perhaps sir...??!
"Gracie Tanto!"for reading. And if I have left anything out,do let me know,won't you? "CIAO AMICI!"