Every Christmas I try not to be lazy and then fail spectacularly, this year has been no exception. We spent Christmas Eve with a friend who lives just off Hoe Street. Our friend made us dinner which included a brilliant jelly lobster served on crushed ginger biscuits for pudding. When we left her flat we wobbled home talking about how full we were, but come Christmas Day, we managed to eat the gigantic roast dinner my other half cooked for us without any difficulty. We had all sorts of plans for boxing day, a walk over the marshes or perhaps a drive up to Queen Elizabeth’s hunting lodge in Chingford for a walk through the forest. In reality we remained welded to the sofa watching terrible TV and eating chocolate. Today we needed to pop out for some bits and pieces from the high street, we managed to crow bar our selves off the sofa and head out in to the daylight.
The High Street was pretty empty, only a few hardy stall holders had set up, most of which were fruit and veg sellers. as we walked up the Market the sky got darker and rain started to fall. We picked up what we needed and decided to head for home when the heavens really opened. The sky was that glorious mixture of black and grey with the occasional glimpse of bright white that you only get at the this time of year, the tower of the old salvation army citadel looked beautiful as the clouds churned around it. The rain got heavier so to avoid getting drenched we ducked in to Ricco’s and ordered a couple of teas. Ricco’s is often busy and loud but it was pretty empty today, allowing a full view of the brightly coloured chairs that nestle around the wooden tables. we took a seat near the large front windows, settled down and watched as people hurried along the rain soaked street.
Ricco’s is one of my favorite places to stop off on the High Street, there is something very inviting about this cafe. The double doors and large windows encourage you in, especially on a dull dark day. The interior is a mix of styles, dark wood clad walls, very bright chairs that border on camp and a random collection of pictures on the walls. Towards the back of the shop a brass and copper coffee machine and an old metal till stand behind the counter and glint in the soft light. There is a lot of of furniture and general clutter crammed in to this small space, but it really works and makes it feel cosy. As often happens when we visit this little coffee shop we sat in silence and people watched, peering at the world beyond the window wondering where everyone was rushing to. Ricco’s is in the perfect spot to sit and watch the world go by, it’s also in the perfect spot to break up any visit to the high street with a tea and custard tart. The staff never rush you so you can just sit back and relax. Ricco’s is a coffee shop as a coffee shop should be, full of people chatting and taking their time over steaming hot drinks.
We spent the best part of an hour in the cafe, long enough to avoid the downpour and put the world to rights. When we had finished we paid up, had a quick chat with the lady that served us and walked back home via St James Street. I’m not sure that our trip to Ricco’s bucked my trend to be lazy at Christmas, but it provided a nice distraction on a wet winter afternoon.