|Coffee Bay – tea at £1 per mug and a friendly and chatty proprietor.|
I'd missed my connection at Purley Oaks so I walked to Purley – rather than wait for the next train – and found myself with 20 minutes to spare.
I nipped in to Coffee Bay, having noticed a sign in the window stating that all major credit cards were accepted (I had no change, bar a £1 coin). But then, to my surprise, I noticed that a mug of tea was just £1.
The woman serving, who was also the proprietor, told me that any more for a cup of tea was daylight robbery. Not her exact words, but she was clearly taking a swipe at the extortionate prices charged by the coffee retailers (even if the Costa in the Purley Tesco's a few yards away was also charging just £1).
In the course of the brief conversation that followed I discovered that she used to work in the city, until the 1987 crash and then decided to get into the caff business. She set up Coffee Bay in 1992 and hasn't looked back.
It's a great place with a few seats inside and a couple outside for good measure.
There's free WiFi, wraps from £3.80, panini breads from £3.80 and homemade soup for £3.
In short, a worthy establishment and very convenient as it's located right next door to Purley railway station. Nothing could be finer than sitting in Coffee Bay sipping tea while waiting for a train.
I will return.