Blogpost: By Martin Healy
CAFE society in British towns and cities is a significant social change in our lifetime. The corresponding general downward slide in fortune for the licensed pub trade is as sad as it is surprising for someone my age.
I remember a time on a Wednesday evening when it could be three lines deep at the bar in the Courtyard pub in Grays town centre back in the early nineties. I remember a time, not so long ago, when we could have a few pints in the Anchor in Tilbury and the place would be packed with revellers in the early afternoon. These and many more pubs in Thurrock have since closed. Times, they are a changing!
Thankfully, I don’t have the same capacity or thirst for the ‘demon’ drink anymore. Nowadays, I am more likely to meet up with friends for a coffee. How did we arrive at this point? The first time that I noticed this middle aged phenomenon was at a U2 concert. Sad old concert goers like me were more likely to be sporting a frothy latte as opposed to a dirty oul pint of Guinness.
Lets face it, the health benefits of consuming less alcohol are indisputable. However,I struggled for a good while to find a decent cuppa coffee in Grays. I always liked to pop along to the Break bar in the Grays shopping centre. Recently, i have discovered a delicious coffee at South Essex college. However, my vote for the very best cup of coffee in Grays goes to the Thameside foyer cafe on Orsett Road Grays, its excellent Lavazza coffee and truly wonderful customer service.