Cafe Culture.

February 5, 2010

We have a cafe in Hebden Bridge. Peaches. It’s about to close, mainly because it opened at the start of a recession, and never stood a chance. The owners, a couple for whom opening this cafe, was a retirement dream, are a lovely couple.

They do me, two perfectly poached eggs, on toast, with a slice of bacon, a grilled tomato, and a cup of tea, for £3.85, but more importantly than that- they treat Rachel as a customer in her own right. She has her special yellow cup, and her special yellow plate, and when we go in, she orders her own breakfast, and then pays the bill. Its one of those routines that we have, that we repeat every few days. A week after christmas, we went in and they gave her a Mr.Men Rucksack, and a Dora the Explorer Art set-that apparently Santa left there, and didn’t send to the house.

Today, I am looking after Rachel at her dad’s house. She asked if we could go to the cafe, I said no. ‘The cafe’ is in the next town. So we went to the cafe she goes to with her dad.

We walk in, and the woman behind the counter, says good morning to Rachel, and gives her a hairclip. Which Rachel duly pushes back her fringe with. I feel this has happened before. Rachel is brought ‘her’ special cup, with water in it. I sit there bemused. I haven’t yet ordered.

I ask Rachel what she would like, and before she speaks the waitress explains that they do not sell pancakes at this time of day, then the chef pokes his head out of the kitchen, notes Rachel, and says that it’s fine, because that is what Rachel has. Rachel explains to the woman that  instead of coffee today, she should bring tea, because Mummy doesn’t drink coffee.

I watch, as Rachel and the woman behind the counter go through a routine that I have never seen. A bowl of chocolate spread is brought out, and Rachel sticks her finger in, licks it, tells the woman it is good chocolate. The woman brings out Rachel’s pancakes. In the time we are there, every member of staff comes and says hello to Rachel, picking up conversations they clearly left, last time she was in.

As we leave, Rachel asks for a coin to put in the tip jar, and they all say goodbye, and Rachel says she will see them tomorrow with her Daddy.

This isn’t normal is it? Or maybe this is just the benefit of living in small towns? Either way, it’s nice.



  1. That’s lovely. which is the other cafe?

    • Its a cafe in Todmorden called Costermonger. DO wicked cookies as well.

      • Ah. I’ve been wanting to go in there for a while. Now I have a pancakes with chocolate shaped excuse.

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