We return to matters gastronomical, this time focusing on two of Luton’s finest tea and chips emporia: the Scandinavia Café and Restaurant, on High Town Road, and Tim’s Kitchen, now tucked away, ‘near the pram stall’, at the back of the indoor market in the Arndale.
I have a little joke (mostly with myself) that I bust out almost every time a friend of mine (and occasionally a date) does me the great honour of coming to see me in Luton. Meeting them at the train station (since I should not like to leave them unchaperoned), I say, ‘Would you like me to give you the tour of Luton? Don’t worry: it won’t take long.’
In my new spirit of solutions-centric positivity, I begin, as promised, with the first of a multi-part foray into Lutonian café culture, and with a solution to that timeless question, ‘Where can I get myself a decent cup of coffee?’ The good news is: it is possible. And what’s more: it’s getting better. Sound the positivity klaxon!
The wanderer returns. Or rather: the slightly dilettante writer with a busy life returns to the blog at hand, to Luton (after a brief foray over into that there Europe) and to ‘normal life’, which is a somewhat irregular affair for me in 2013: I’m taking a ‘year out’ of sorts, to work on my PhD and train as a Rolfer, chiefly; and to explore and develop a number of my other interests, such as getting involved with the new Luton Foodbank; with the local hospice charity, Keech; and agreeing (just this morning) to run my first half-marathon. So apologies for the long service disruption to Yoga World & Pesto, and I thank the many of you who asked me where I had gone.
Yoga World & Pesto notes in passing the sad demise of This ‘N’ That, the esoteric buying-and-selling shop on High Town Road that was Luton’s go-to for both buying and selling, and – if official police signage is anything to go by (and one has to suspect it is*) – a laundering mechanism for stolen goods. Ah well. The sign was probably the best thing about This ‘N’ That (We buy. We sell.) and mercifully, that remains.
It’s dawned on a number of us Lutonian lifers that Luton may well be the hippest place outside of Shoreditch, quite without intending to be. Local friend Grumbly Bob (who not only works in Shoreditch but owns a number of checked shirts) put it succinctly with respect to local favourite, the Scandinavia Restaurant and Café: ‘The Scandi is hipster without even trying. In east London, people work really hard to design cafés that look exactly like the Scandi.’
Well, this doesn’t seem to be a step forward for Luton. The premises of the former Railway Tavern went up in flames late on Wednesday night (13 March 2013). Coverage at the Luton Today website here, which says that the police are treating the incident as ‘suspicious’. It is a little, isn’t it?