21 February 2015

Coffee, Coats and Quotes.

Featuring savoured espresso shots, thoroughly worn-in blazers and little life quotes to live by… this post may be seemingly lacking in purpose, but it does have a point. 

Seeing my little bubba's face never gets old. 

She might be three years old in June (and in dog years older than me, come August…) but in looks and personality she will always be a puppy in my eyes! Going back home to Bath more frequently this term, has allowed me to see a lot more of her, which I am certainly not complaining about.

It also involves seeing more of this...

I am so fortunate to 'live' in two truly beautiful Cities - Exeter is not one to be underestimated! 

Nonetheless, Bath just about edges it in aesthetic appeal - with georgian architecture, cobbled pavements and storybook side streets, it is the perfect postcard City. That being said, when it comes to a more specific form of beauty, Exeter might take the biscuit. The subject in question? Coffee.

          Boston Tea Party                                                   Devon Coffee                                                    Artigiano's

Exeter is developing a bit of a reputation for its 'cafe culture'. This is something I will dedicate a post to exclusively, in the imminent future - there is still one cafe left on my list, before I can do this! I thought Bath was good for smaller/independent chains, with Society Cafe, Jazz Cafe and Boston Tea Party all nestled in Kingsmead square.

Yet it pales in comparison to Exeter! While BTP also features here, and I do remain a loyal customer (my stamp card will attest to that), Artigiano posed strong competition. It is quite pricy, but the origin coffee they use is possibly second to none. Moreover, the coffee art does trumps BTP. Milk hearts are one thing, the Artigano leaf takes foam painting to a whole new level. 

A few stops East of Boston, there lies Devon Coffee, which up until last week I had never visited (largely due to my love for the former). However, earlier this week I made the bold decision to branch out. What unfolded was the start of a happy (and potentially expensive) new relationship.

photo credit: food-mag.co.uk

The cafe itself is so wonderfully rustic. The espresso aroma hits you as you enter, but it is in a comforting, rather than overwhelming, way. Then I saw the mug cosys - knitted sleeves to go round your coffee cup, the likes of which I have only seen before on Etsy… need I say more?

The coffee art was superior even to Artigiano, and as for taste - well I sipped. I smiled. I savoured. Price wise, it is cheaper than Artigiano and on par with BTP. Taste wise, it is very comparable to the former, thanks to their use of the same Origin Espresso coffee. The milk had been frothed to an even velvetier consistency, making for a rather perfect Cappuccino. I will definitely be returning! However, those Boston hearts will not be completely abandoned - variety is the shot of life.


So, yes - as far as coffee goes, Exeter is superior. But home is where the heart is; sipping on coffee in Bath's BTP, complete with my mum's company and cobbled stones outside, makes for a happy Sophie. Shopping trips also call for shop browsing, and a trip to River Island (not my usual first port of call) resulted in a couple of purchases. Given my latest stance against the High Street, upon discovery of the bargain barn (aka Ebay), this was quite a feat.

                                                                                                                         Blazer, £40     Top, £18     both River Island    

The daisy design of the right top is gorgeous and will go with anything; I also like the fact it has sleeves, so needn't be worn with my usual staple cardigan. Thankfully, the weather is becoming warmer, but this will keep off the remnants of the winter chill.

Then I managed to secure an item I have been hunting down online for a good fortnight now… a longline blazer! It ticks the boxes that Forever 21 (size) and Ebay (aesthetic appeal) both missed out on. I own two coats - one duffle and the other tweed - and a denim jacket. I consequently lacked an 'in between' - the length and style of a coat, but lightweight and thus perfect for entering spring. As with the top, it goes with dresses, skirts, jeans and pretty much every colour in my wardrobe too.

The top on the left wasn't a purchase, but I couldn't not try it on - my mum was also insistent on this, and slightly crestfallen when the actual style didn't match up to the sentiment! I love a good quote; it's the English student in me. Yet this one, in particular, really hit home for me. Expectation is often my downfall. Expectations of myself, and other people, make that risk of disappointment greater. Moreover, in both cases, I always find myself sat on the self-blame train.

Consequently, I have tried to remember this quote, in the last week. Namely not expecting too much of myself. When my blood sugar was low upon waking up the other day, I didn't push myself to go to my 9am lecture; I had two other classes later that day, and realised that to meaningfully engage with (appreciate) those would be nigh-on impossible, in a hypoglycaemic state. I could watch the lecture the next day online - that is okay.

In the past week, I have tried to appreciate things more. Appreciate those moments when my blood sugar is on-side. Appreciating the opportunities of my degree; I really enjoyed the reading last week -  The Star of the Sea - and am looking forward to planning the topics for my summative essay this weekend. I am studying English because I love it.

Finally, I am appreciating my last days as Online Books Editor for Exeposé. I hope to be successful in the upcoming election and be on committee next year, but again - expect nothing.  Appreciate the here and now.

Those little things do add up, and they do matter.


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