Now is the Winter
WORDS by S.Lynch
Christmas is soon. Apparently. My mental calendar reckons by all accounts we should still be in September, and yet the Mill Road Winter Fair is in just 3 Days time! So that means the month of mo is over, our baristas Dom and Michael have shaved the moustaches off, (and presumably children no longer run from them in fear.) Yes. December is here!
The Fair marks the start of the cold season, it’s the dividing point in my memory between summer on Jesus Green and those dimly lit nights crammed into ‘the Swan’ as the pavements ice up outside. The temperature is going to keep on dropping, but with three fridges, an espresso machine, a tea urn, a panini grill, a constant supply of body heat and approximately 13 Macbook Pros at any given time, it's perpetual summer at Hot Numbers.
We’ll be open the usual Saturday hours, so you’ll still be able to come here for your morning coffee and breakfasts before the crowds descend. Like previous years, across the road from us in the car park opposite, will be the incredible food fair. That’s not its official title, but in my own experience the array of dining options can leave you in a giddy panic if you’re a ‘foodie.’ And, If you’re there around 1-ish you’ll get to hear David Youngs. We’ve been playing his album during the more relaxed periods of the day so you might recognise his style of playing.
There’s really far too much happening on Saturday for me to mention, and anything I could say would probably just be repeating what’s in the guide. (www.millroadwinterfair.org) It all kicks off after 10:30–ish at Ditchburn Gardens just around the corner from us. We're approximately in the dead centre of the stretch which means whichever direction you happen to be going you could consider us as a handy pit-stop. Caffeine in the morning to get you to Donkey Green and back, then a post lunch mulled wine.
That's right, we have that now; you might have smelt the newest winter addition to the menu. It’s pretty potent, we’ve been mulling some merlot with some whole spices from Arjuna and a few sliced oranges. And a lot of quality control checks along the way.
Or if you’re more into you’re coffee than your spicy wine we’ve got Amaretto! Our Colombia bean The Villa Esperanza already has rich marzipan and blueberry sweetness, once you add amaretto and textured milk, you’re 6oz white will be like liquid Christmas cake. Which I assure you sounded a lot more appealing in my head. Personally, I’d try it with a straight ristretto shot of the Bosque-Lya- the El Savaldorian bean has a bit of nuttier edge to counter that sweetness. But opinion is opinion so you’ll just have to try both I suppose.
Either way you’ll be making everyday Christmas Day.
If somehow, you happen to miss all the live musicians on Saturday (as I’ve managed in the past, preferring to gorge on decadent Christmas food,) then you’ll be happy to know the Accidentalists are joining us from 4p.m. until closing time at 6.
But getting back to that whole Christmas thing, if you’re still stuck for gift ideas don’t worry- we’ve got you covered. For the coffee loving friends anyway. Nicely wrapped gifts packs for those connoisseurs, or gift cards for the harder to please.
But, asides from all the festive spirit that surrounds the fair, it’s a real celebration of independent business and, of course, the community that supports it. Every week we seem to make some new friends. It’s good to know that there is still an element of urban discovery left in a town once dubbed as ‘Clone Cambridge.’ So if you’re not feeling the whole Christmas good will and tidings etc. then at least come and eat your self into a world-food coma in the name of independence.
We might be a tad busy on Saturday but please don’t let that put you off. We hope to see you all there!