Before I begin a book, I go to the last page (avoiding the text there at all cause), and look at the number of pages. Then I turn to the first page, and pencil it down. I stare at the numbers for a while, following the curves of my illegible hand writing, and then turn the page.
I always want to know where I am in a story: in a good book, it reminds you to take your time and savour the experience; in a bad book, it gives you hope that its liberating end is fast approaching.
I was reading Hotel World by Ali Smith. Reading anything penned from Ali Smith is a journey to be experienced, every word a step, every page a masterpiece. I absolutely adore all of her work, and can not wait to dig into her new novel ‘There But For The’ (however, as I have promised, I am putting Ms Dalloway next in my reading list!).
I knew I had to chose an environment that would match the overwhelming beauty of the book, and stealing a few moments from work, I knew exactly where I was heading.
I can not describe the sense of calmness that comes with walking into a Yumchaa tea shop. It is almost as if the door has a filter, stopping the outside world from coming in with you, allowing you to breath in the amazing blend of the teas, stacked on the wall behind the counter.
Yumchaa manages to make you feel warm inside, and this is not only from the magnificent selection of tea it serves. Bathed in neutral tones and equipped with an eclectic mix of quirky seating, (some more comfortable than others), it provides the perfect time out from the world, and the perfect excuse for a quick catch up with a good friend, or in this case, a good book.
Sitting on the sofa under the skylight in Camden, or soaking the gold tones from the vintage lamps in the lower ground floor in Soho, having tea in any Yumchaa is really an experience to savour.
I got so lost in the book that my chai latte got cold and the people around me were replaced by a new set of faces. I gulped it down, put my coat on, and run down the chilly street. The sun is out. It is such a beautiful day.