The nearest 'nice' area to where I live is Crouch End. It's a bus ride away from my 'hood and is kind of a village within London, with a shopping street based around a clocktower, a dozen places to get coffee and cake and even more places to buy nik-naks and overpriced wooden toys. It's nice. When we find a spare couple of million perhaps we will move there.
During the past year the baby and I have tried most of the coffee places and other eateries. We've had overpriced coffee in the 'artisan' bakery, cake that looks nicer than it tastes in the 'Salon de the' and retro cupcakes from the baker eaten in the park. Recently I ordered the baby her first cup of frothy milk - I couldn't bring myself to say the word 'babycino' - free at Starbucks if you have a drink yourself.
But it turns out that my absolute favourite place for a coffee (or something harder) in this cutesy area is none of these, but the big Wetherspoons.
It used to be an All Bar One. Wetherspoons got rid of the polished floor and fitted a new swirly carpet. I like this defiance. The drinks and food are cheap, the highchairs plentiful, the babychange clean. Hell, they even have a coffee loyalty card. And you know what, I'll take a few old men smiling benignly over their 10am pint over the 'whose buggy is better' appraisal of the rich mums any day.