Even Thieves are Welcome at the Olive Cafe. #thatlondon

Posted: November 19, 2010 in graffiti living
Tags: , , , ,

A weary traveler forgets to pay for breakfast, but goes back due to service with a smile.

“Hey, if you’ve got time to eat it, I’ve got time to make it,” said the attractive woman with a grin. I’d enquired about the all day breakfast as I’d spent the last 24 hours traveling and was in a bit of a rush.

According to the billboard outside, the Olive Cafe boasts simple food at simple prices: “Eat in or take away, home-made food and cakes, fresh cut sandwiches, breakfast, and hot drinks.” But what you get inside is much more palatable – a welcoming atmosphere, friendly staff, and excellent customer service.

“It’s not normally this quiet,” she said, almost apologetic, as she laid out a platter of eggs, fried bacon, sausage, chips and beans. I wasn’t complaining; I needed to get my head down to do some work prior to a workshop that was due to start pretty soon. She was very friendly and chatty, pretty much left me to my own devices, and didn’t mind me beavering away on my laptop. Besides which, I’d got a full english breakfast for under a fiver, including toast and tea.

They tend to attract the local office worker breakfast and lunch crowds. The cafe was filling up as I left, and in my haste to get to the workshop I forgot to pay; convinced that I’d paid when I first came in. The young woman was so nice about it that for the first part of the workshop I wracked my brains over whether or not I’d actually paid. I realised that I hadn’t. So, on my break, I went back. The place was packed out. The woman smiled at me again, and started to apologise about the misunderstanding before, until I interrupted and explained that I’d realised my mistake and had come to pay for breakfast. She admitted that she normally takes payment after people have eaten, as she doesn’t want to bother people whilst they’re eating, but had been willing to give me the benefit of the doubt. I apologised again and insisted that I paid for breakfast. She was so enthused by my honesty that she even offered me another cup of tea.

The Olive Cafe is on Whitfield Street W1, London, just round the corner from the Indian YMCA. Next time you stop by there, please tell her that James sent you – and that he said, “Sorry!”

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