Coffee Island is the type of café I like. It’s not pretentious, it’s not trendy, it’s not don’t-come-in-here-this-is-for-locals. The staff were friendly but not over-familiar. The interior of the café is in a modern style, tables and chairs, bright and clean.
As I walked in I felt comfortable and not out of place. It is not one of those tiny cafés you get, especially in small towns, where as you enter through the door everyone turns to look at you. You feel on display, all of a sudden you’re not a potential customer, you’ve become an invader from an evil foreign land intent on doing harm and causing mayhem. Then it’s what do I do?, sit and wait to be served? Order at the counter? Turn and run for my life followed by the entire clientele of the café?, the person nearest you and closing fast is the huge-bellied owner brandishing a carving knife so big that he must use it to disembowel Yorkshire. Coffee Island was not one of those cafés.
I sat near the rear of the café deliberately so that I could watch the coming and going of this little establishment. I ordered at the counter, tea, obviously, and a chicken wrap.
The tea arrived quickly enough which is always a good sign, I hate sitting for ages waiting for the drinks and then the food arrives and still no drink. No, tea first then food. The tea was good, nothing fancy just good quality tea bag tea, that’s fine by me. The tea was hot and steaming, I blew on its surface casually, not really to cool the tea but more out of habit. Held the cup to my lips but not drinking, tea being far too hot, felt the warmth and moisture of the steam on my skin. I was able to look through the steam at the people wandering past the café, along Mersey Way. Some dashing, others slowly walking, taking their time to turn and look here and there, comment, point and discuss. Their day a long meander through shops and relationships and food and memories and carrier bags.
The general decor of this pleasant café was mainly white with red emphasis and a touch of black, which will always go down well with me.
Having received my tea and caressed it lovingly, my order of food was not long to appear. Carried by the dark-haired waitress, it was plonked down unceremoniously. That’s ok, I do not want a song and dance just a reasonable meal and a good price.
The chicken wrap was huge with a good helping of salad. The wrap was not so much wrap as an opera. It was a sort of oval shaped cylinder and had had a fight with a steam roller and won. The steam roller had gone off to find easier opponents like a raspberry or a really ripe tomato. But all said and done it was nice food at a reasonable price and you can’t go wrong with that.
The ebb and flow of custom continued throughout my time in Coffee Island, some ordering food and drink while others were content to just have a drink. This is a café where just sitting and drinking tea was fine. A place for people to meet up after a long hard slog of shopping or working or hanging out. There is not much going for Stockport shopping precinct, the run of the mill high street shops making it a bland dull adventure. But I like Coffee Island, it’s worth a visit.