We went through a phase in England some years ago when we were told that by extending the licensing hours of pubs the removal of ‘last orders’ would also remove binge drinking. Similarly, town councils and planners assured us that by covering the out of town green and pleasant land with superstores, megastores and retail parks, towns’ High Streets could be pedestrianised and a pleasant orchard of tables and chairs and parasols could be planted, allowing us to adopt a European style ‘Café Culture’.

I rather feel the alcohol and supermarket industry lobbies sold us a pup. I, for one, relished the promise of sitting in the shade in a sun-drenched piazza, sipping an espresso and watching the world go by. Not quite the way it’s turned out unfortunately. Alcopops, happy hours, six month winters and four seasons in a day weather has rather put paid to the dream.

But every cloud has a silver lining (hence our national sense of wealth). If these promises had come true we would have taken the idea of relaxing outside with friends for granted. Instead, when we go on holiday, we savour every café moment, from trying to catch the waiter’s attention, to fathoming how such a small cup can contain such expensive coffee.

I must confess to being an addict. To coffee, cafés and Café Culture.
It suits so many moods – laughter, love, lunch. Sit back and read a newspaper, a book, or the expressions of the world and his friend around you. Life cinema.