Thursday, July 2, 2009

Espresso, The Wild Wood, Bristol

NOTE: The UK posts in the past have not been written by Ryan. But these next few are.
Walking past, I had a good feeling about this place. The décor, the menu, and the impressively shiny coffee machine made me think this place was worth the gamble. The odds were looking good that I was going to be paid a visit by the espresso gods. The fact that the machine was handle-driven rather than pump-driven didn't necessarily suggest great espresso was about to follow, but it made me think their staff training would have to be particularly extensive. I stepped in the door, and sidled up to the bar.

It soon was clear that my sidle was not loud enough. The guy at the bar was facing away from me, reading a magazine. Crossing my arms on the bar was also not noticeable, nor was my unintentional “ehem”. Of course, in situations like this an “ehem” is warranted, but I genuinely happened to need to clear my throat at that very moment. But to no avail: he kept reading.

Crikey, this place must get quiet. The only reason you would work at the bar facing the wrong way for this long is because it hadn't gotten you into any trouble in the past.

Minutes passed. I started to think this might be some sort of record. If only I'd started the timer.

I soon realised, after possibly three-and-a-half minutes, that I was actually in a hurry to get out of there. There's nothing that's more guaranteed to irk, or at least attract attention from, staff than either
a) using the toilets without buying anything, or
b) suspiciously wandering around in staff-only areas.
I decided the only way to get served around here was to do a little bit of both.
I walked out the back, well within the barman's peripheral vision, and walked downstairs. Even if the toilets weren't downstairs, at least he had seen me.
It turns out the toilets were downstairs, and after marvelling at the superfluous unisex handbasin outside the cubicle (a basin inside the cubicle often makes this redundant), I went upstairs and ordered a single espresso from the now-facing-the-front barman and took a seat outside.

Thank god. The aroma was having all sorts of fun in my nasal passages before the guy even brought it out to me. Glorious. If only I'd taken the photo on a slightly different angle to show the logo of whoever roasted the beans that gave their lives for this 30ml of heaven.

(I sound excited don't I? My judgement may be impaired by how much good coffee I haven't had in the last few days, but trust me, this place is really good.)

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