EDitorial ± 19-Dec-2014

Ipswich Lunches: Gaskins Coffee House

To say that I'm half asleep on the morning cycle commute wouldn't be too far from the truth. I'm tired -- we're all tired -- yet alert enough to deal with both the red and yellow lorries on the A1214. Approaching the milestone by the ex-Shell now-Applegreen garage -- they never close, the crazy kids! -- the cycle lane vanishes and it can be safer and quicker to dodge the cars in the layby. Looking to my left, did one of the shops really proclaim "Freshly ground 100% arabica beans coffee"?

In the past we've baguetted in bookshops, sarnied among shabby chic and quaffed amidst quilts. Never before, though have we beveraged by barbers. The short back and sides of it is that Gaskins hairdressers has diversified: to the right, they scissor clip; to the left, they serve coffee. In a separate room sit tables (couple outside as well), a telly and a tabloid or two. Free WiFi, too, if that's your style.

Need a drink? Sorted. Need a bite? Ah. Then you'll be wanting to nip to the bakery next door and bring it back here. Could I recommend the perennial Cornish pasty and a bag of tomato Snaps? They melt in your mouth, you know, more so when accompanied by a kicking glass of honey, lemon and ginger cordial with a zing that'll colour your roots.

Chatting, the chap explains that all the hot drinks come from a Tchibo machine: remember their store at Felixstowe which was half-cafe, half-commodities? Scanning the drinks list, I order a "latte macchiato" since I'm not sure what that is. Shortly after, a fairly ordinary frothy coffee appears, spruced up with a little Rioba biscuit. There's just about sufficient jolt to cut through the pre-bought Belgian bun, a cherry-topped beast roughly the size of Belgium. So, an odd little enterprise, perhaps a little hair-brained.

If it was a car -- LPG Mazda MX-5.
If they were passing by -- Craig Ferguson.