Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

Cafe Culture

Things are slowly getting back to normal here in England. People can at last visit relatives, drink in a pub and go back to work. But there's one thing I will not do - unless forced to by misguided friends, and that's sit outside a cafe to drink my tea and nibble my scone (* cream first, jam second. Jam, I should tell my friends across the pond is what you call jelly). 

I live in England, a very green and pleasant land. And why is it green and pleasant? Because it rains. A lot. In England it is raining, about to rain or threatening to rain. I live in the county of Devon, which without a hint of irony, the tourist board dubs  "Sunny Devon". To be fair, it's not the rainiest part of England and it is one of the warmest. In fact, there's nowhere else I'd rather live.

From my house you can see Dartmoor in the distance. There is a local joke. If you can see Dartmoor clearly, it will soon rain. If you can't see Dartmoor clearly it IS raining! Dartmoor is a vast moorland with wild ponies, craggy landscape, tors, Neolithic tombs, Bronze Age stone circles and abandoned medieval farmhouses. Quite beautiful. 

Rain clouds gather on Dartmoor

But enough about Dartmoor, here follows my experience of outside dining. You plonk yourself down on a damp plastic chair. The wind gets up as it's about to rain. Consequently, polystyrene containers blow about your feet and dust clings to the jam. Your dining companion, putting a brave face on it, says something like: "This reminds me of our holiday on the Costa del Sol." I grimace.

Then the inevitable happens, Raindrops start to fall. We  scramble to gather up all our possessions - bags, tea, scones (cream first) and make a mad dash for inside the cafe. Everyone else outside has exactly the same idea. Elbows are employed to get a seat. We very, very slowly sip our tea and nibble our scones (cream first), eking out every mouthful as we wait for a break in the clouds. 

Eventually the rain eases and we peel our damp bottoms from our chairs and RUN (well, it's more of a fast waddle in my case) back to the car.

Friend says, "That was lovely, wasn't it? We must do this again." I grimace.

* Back to that cream and jam thing. There is some friendly rivalry between Devon and our neighbouring county of Cornwall about which goes first on a scone, jam or cream. If you want to know more, read this Cream Teas: Cream or Jam First?

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  1. Outdoor dining doesn't work when rain is imminent. We don't have that issue here. Of course, we're in a constant state of drought, so there's that.

  2. I don't like outside dining- too many bugs.

  3. Outdoor dining here usually includes fumes from passing vehicles, so no thanks from me. I'll eat inside. I always put the jam first, spreading it right to the edges, the a good dollop of cream on top. I might try it the other way next time.

  4. I don't like outdoor dining even in good weather.