Or creatively drinking coffee
Our business is now nearly three months old and we are finding ourselves drinking lots of coffee, not just in search of inspiration, but also because we have a number of coffee shops as clients. We have learnt much about the marketing of coffee shops and the art of the drinks menu. Who knew there was so much to menu design? We are not only converts to coffee culture, but are becoming coffee nerds – we never knew how much there was behind a brew.
As a copywriter, Richard has been particularly struck by the history of coffee houses and cafes as writers’ and artists’ hangouts.
J.K. Rowling’s story is now well-known. Living on benefits in Edinburgh, she frequented coffee shops as somewhere safe, where she might write as her daughter slept: the coffee and the low rumble of conversation, the soothed baby and the next chapter written. The Elephant House and Nicholson’s coffee shop her most frequent haunts, she is said to have particularly liked writing much of her early novels in The Elephant House back room overlooking Edinburgh Castle. It is a story repeated many times. The Elephant House also claims that Ian Rankin, author of the bestselling Rebus novels, and Alexander McCall-Smith, author of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and other series of novels, frequented the café.
In Paris, after the war, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre held court amongst the Gauloises and coffee incense of their worshippers. A famous 1945 Brassai portrait of de Beauvoir shows her at the Café de Flore, coffee pot at hand. At the turn of the twentieth century, it was the coffee shops of Vienna, with Sacher-Torte and pastries to accompany the caffeine that inspired a generation of artists and architects: Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka, Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos. Visitors flock there to imbibe and to dream.
And we dream creatively too. We love our new jobs and love the excuse it has given us to visit some great coffee shops, to meet clients who are passionate about their jobs and to help them in their aims to strengthen the art of social conversation.