Thursday, 15 December 2011
Afternoon coffee Italian style in the Glasgow south side
Afternoon coffee. That wonderful treat on a day off after lunch when the world seems empty and the local coffee shop feels like a sanctuary of tranquility. La Brava (www.la-brava.co.uk) on Clarkston Road is a perfect example of this, except it's the exact opposite at the same time. The wonderful staff always seem to be bustling with friendly chatter to regulars and new faces alike, the open kitchen is still busy despite there being very few diners. Yet it is a sanctuary nonetheless, a place to think, to watch and most of all to enjoy stunning coffee. Or breakfast, lunch and dinner for that matter as this is a morning until night gem but those meals are for a different day, today was about afternoon coffee on my half day.
The coffee on offer is an Italian classic, Classico Caffe Circi, 'the coffee of Rome'. It is everything you would expect from an Italian coffee, big and rich with loads of roasty bitterness but that wonderful acidity cutting through and the silky smooth mouthfeel. This is serious coffee. To go with it there's a selection of pastries, some baked in house, others sourced directly from Italy and the staff will happily take you on a tour of them. Sitting alongside standard offerings like homemade scones and croissants are Cannolli Siciliani and Torta della nonna. I opted for the latter, a beautiful rich lemon tart topped with pine nuts and icing sugar. Thick unctuous and the sort of thing you would normally wish you had asked for cream with. Then you wash it down with your Americano and you remember why you didn't. Quite simply this is a joyful way to pass an hour with a copy of The Herald sat on the table or simply to look out of the window and watch the world pass you by. Simple treats are so often the best.