Ok let's recognize it... London can be a quite cold city (refering to the weather). Now it's almost July and this morning I went to work with a jumper over the t-shirt, which is more or less what you could bring if you were in Spain ... in April.
But to compensate this kind of climatology, there are lots of coffee houses. I have never hidden that I love coffee, so this fact made me somehow happy!
Leaving apart all the numerous Starbucks, Coffee Republic, Caffe Nero, etc, etc, you can also find small independent coffees where the waiters/waitress will try to make you feel comfortable. That's quite nice, specially if you are used to the typical I don't care spanish waiters' style.
past year, although I had ticket restaurants for having lunch in account of my employer, I sometimes decided to go have lunch somewhere else, mainly to avoid eating a whole menu (because after that I felt completely aslept =_=, having to do extra-hours for free because the project manager didn't know how to manage... @£$£@&^!!! uhm... this belongs to another thread XD) and also to have a little break from seeing my workmates all day long. (My workmates description would be enough for one or two posts, indeed).
So I used to go to little coffee houses where I could have a pastry (something similar could be the napolitana or empanadilla in spanish :D), a coke and possibly a coffee. The last depended most of the times on the speed of the service. If I had to wait a lot for getting my pastry & coke, I wasn't going to wait again for the coffee. And I didn't have too many coffees in fact! Most of the times the people were really unpleasant and rude. Like if they were helping you or saving your life just by giving you a pastry... I am not even talking about bringing you the food and drinks to the little side bars, but simply asking you (for example) if you would like to have the pastry warmed, or not putting you the worst face they could even think of if you demanded your food to be heaten.
Another example: this past last year's eve I had to work (not during the celebrations but during the day) and I tried to find some place to have something for lunch. As expected almost everything was closed. Starbucks, pret a manger, costa, nothing was open. I walked a bit more far and found one of those little cafe's which seemed nice at first sight. So I decided to give it a try.
They were quite kind there. They even said me "Have a happy new year". But, ok, maybe it's because it's today. They must say it to everyone. Or not!
I came back some weeks ago (after almost six months! hehe). They even improved since last time. I asked for a ciabatta and they even put some salad with it. "Do you want a glass and ice with your drink?" - they ask. They even brought everything to the table, each time smiling, no rudeness at all when putting things in the table.
And today I came back again. And not only did they do the same (little nice details like the salad for free) but also asked me if I was happy with everything. Have you even been asked in Spain if you liked the service and the food in a non-threatening way? I mean, not something like: So are you [idiot] suggesting you don't like my wonderful food[, stupid]?
Does it mean they are hypocrites? Or are they only trying to make everything nicer? I think if I had to choose I would prefer some so-called hypocrisy instead of that Spanish spontaneity. All of us have problems but you waiter does not need to transmit hers to the clients!