Who did I take for cake? Bex, Intrepid Journalist (above right)
What did we talk about? Friends in far places, poetry, crushes, exams, operations, being fed spaghetti, Brighton
The damage? £10.10 (round 1) £7.00 (round 2)
‘I wish I lived here’ was the first thing to pirouette through my mind as I stepped into the Bridge Café and to be honest, I can’t report much let up from these five little words since. The only difference now is that a letter ‘t’ has nestled in and the yearning that swoops restlessly about my grey matter is ‘I wish I lived there. I wish I lived there’.
There is no let up when I sleep. TV presenter and pasta sauce oligarch, Loyd Grossman has hijacked my subconscious wanderings and regardless of whether I am dreaming about embarrassed ponies or bears riding mobility scooters, he will rock up brandishing an oversized keyhole.
We will stand and leer at one another Through The Keyhole for a while and then just when it’s getting a bit voyeuristic and weird and I start wondering if Loyd’s been working out, he will suddenly bellow, ‘ Now whoooo lives in a cahfaay loik this?’ his transatlantic tones stretching out the syllables as if they are made of elastic or taste of trifle, or both (mmmmm stretchy trifle). This then seems to be my cue to start jumping around like a ferret in need of a wee, squealing ‘me, me! That would be me Lloyd!’ whilst shoving Chelsea buns in my face.
None of this is my fault. The Bridge Café really is very special. At just 7 weeks young, the new kid on the Dalston block is a bohemian wet dream, especially upstairs. Warm and cosy, its walls are lined with old film posters, the chairs are rococo, the music wonderful and every spare surface is adorned with curious objects such as old clocks and phrenology hands. Each table is different, light comes courtesy of jewel coloured Tiffany-style lamps, brass eagles perch atop coffee machines, the vintage till is sublime, the food and drink excellent value, and the staff already know nearly every customer by name. Oh sorry. Would somebody be so kind as to mop up my drool? I appear to be salivating everywhere again.
What’s got me hooked is that the adoration was instant. There is little more lovely than stepping into some place new or laying eyes on some face new and things just feeling right. More than right. When we stumble across a new home away from home, soulmate or great friend to be, things just begin to make sense.
Having polished off a mille feuille pastry and tea (me) and a cheese and spinach slice with couscous salad and coffee (Bex), all of which was delicious, we slipped off into the night for poetry and dancing. A wonderful evening but one which did see my camera stolen and all of my Bridge Café snaps, lost.
Three days later, Bex and I returned to re-shoot, this time using her camera. Exam revision (Bex) and a long journey home (me) meant this was to be an in and out job. Time was of the essence, until… well, until we stepped through the door and fell in love all over again. Two bowls of steaming soup and a mountain of cloud-like foccacia were ordered as, smiling, we re-climbed the stairs. Time still of the essence but in a different way now, we sat and talked and slurped and talked and slurped some more. Happy, content, home.