I am pretty sad to see Starbucks bite the dust in Blackheath. I would have been sadder to see it go had it actually been allowed to use the downstairs for seating.
Ok, so it sold chilled cakes and thought that coffee was interchangeable for brown coloured perfume.
But it started the whole cafe culture thing. There were the days when I would sneak out of my creative writing college in my 15minute break for nothing less than a Starbucks latte to bring back to the classroom and slurp to the annoyance of my more grown up colleagues. And while I am obviously far to cultured to ever err… regularly buy a high street coffee now I have aged, I’ve still been known to pop in for a gingerbread latte (with even more subterfuge than when I go for a McDonald’s breakfast.)
Starbucks still has a few gems: eggnog lattes, and cinnamon rolls. it was in Blackheath Starbucks that I first read of the ‘Save the Con’ campaign.
Apparently the closure was all over licensing. Which at least means that, despite all appearance to the contrary, the village is not going to die in the strangle hold of betting shops and estate agencies. But it will suffer. It is hard to get a seat in the village at the weekend and sometimes you think you might not be bothered if the trip does not come with cake and coffee. (Because all trips are really about cake and coffee… or haven’t you been listening?) And another high street women’s clothing chain feels soulless, even as a woman, who really likes clothes.
And i would also like to note the good grace with which it departed, (even if it was a PR ploy)offering the residents of Blackheath free coffees in its dying days.
I hope the other coffee shops have hired baristas with skates on to meet the morning commute requirements of Blackheath station. Recommendations for alternative coffee for commuters I received from fellow tweeters:
Most like Starbucks: Giraffe (I have not reviewed Giraffe)
On the way to the station from Lee: Petit Boulangerie Jade (rumoured to open 7:30) My first ever coffee shop review!
Good Coffee: but differs from Starbucks Hand Made Food (you’ll laugh at the title of this review) and also Chapters
Exceptionally Good Coffee, but not open early, Black Vanilla
I’ve tweeted Black Vanilla that earlier opening hours would go down well (and probably make them a huge amount of money), bu t they do not fear my coffee shop reviewer power and haven’t actually replied. I was about to do a glowing review of their Greenwich location too. Sniff!
Highly recommended (but yet to be reviewed by me): Blackheath Deli
Coming from Blackheath Standard, Mocca
Costa has also been mentioned, but I can’t really side with that I’m afraid…