Golly Gosh Cafe

tea shop and sanctuary


life’s truest happiness is found in the friendships we make along the way

They meet on the last Saturday of every month.

Sally served the perfect afternoon tea: perfectly triangular sandwiches on a tiered stand, with perfect bite-sized homemade cakes made by perfect Alice and a chilled glass of champagne.  Fine china teacups and plates and tall flutes on white linen.

The perfect place for old friends to share their stories.

Ageing parents and the burden of caring; a game of who’s still alive and who isn’t; children fleeing the nest and the propriety of vetting significant others; partners and ever decreasing circles; expanding waistlines and mirrors; botox and airbrushing; tooth whitening that’s all the rage, receding gums and the pain and price of inevitable root canal; creaking bones, big pants, operations, hormone replacement therapy and hot flushes.  Doctors.  Cemeteries.  God.

It’s as good as it gets.


Sally appreciated help with opening up this morning. She was already rushed and she felt the clouds gathering. Life had a knack of running ahead of her if she wasn’t careful and although it didn’t come easy asking for help she knew there really was no choice. She couldn’t do it all.

Ask Alice. Reliable. Understanding. Aware.

It’d been a difficult start to the day trying to juggle everything and there were times she wished she’d never embarked on this adventure. But it had become a part of her so very easily and quickly; a place of rest and fellowship. Santuary. It almost sounded biblical! She laughed wondering why. There was nothing deliberate in it. But it seemed that Golly Gosh had a secret weapon.

This little calming teashop with it’s whitewash interior, lots of glass and big shuttered windows was bright and openminded. It sat close enough to the water to be an escape, to be admired.


Hope she’s ok. The woman in the corner I mean.

Sally said she always sits in the same seat; orders a cup Earl Grey tea. Nothing to eat, just Earl Grey. She can sit for hours. Quiet and invisible. Sometimes she reads or writes or just stares at the door as if she’s half expecting someone. Sad and far away.

I think she looks nice. When did she start coming here?

A few months ago now.

Does anyone know her name? Why doesn’t anyone know here name?

Don’t really know. No-one’s asked? Feel bad about that now. Thanks for that.

The next time I come here and she’s here I’m going to sit beside her, order a cup of tea and a scone, and introduce myself.

And start a conversation? Like Katsumoto?


Katsumoto, The Last Samurai.

I like him.  Much more than I like Tom Cruise. Did you know he’s had is teeth straightened and is divorcing Katie Holmes?  They looked alright to me.

Katsumoto? And are those two things connected? What looked alright – the teeth or the marriage? 

No, Tom Cruise. And, no they’re not connected. Well they could be I suppose … the teeth, the teeth looked alright.

Who played Katsumoto?

You mean that’s not his real name?

Oh dear God … please make it stop.

bags and laughter and sore feet

And so the colourful people arrived. Regulars. A group of young women in their early twenties wearing brightly coloured dresses on this gloriously sunny day.  In unison they pushed their sunglasses off their faces as they entered the tearoom, adjusting to the change in light, and headed for their usual table. The random shopping bags carrying their newest purchases were abandoned to the floor as they collapsed in a heap. The present hush evaporated as clatter and chatter took over. An entrance.

Why do you squeeze your feet into the pointiest shoes with the highest heels in the world going shopping then. You’re asking for trouble. You’ll end up with corns and bunions like my mother. It’s not attractive and bloody sore. You could end up having to wear Jesus sandals eventually – not a good look. Unless you’re Jesus of course or 3.

I know. It’s a bit vain but I don’t like flatties they make me look like Max Wall.


Just ask someone over 50. And don’t get her started on leggings.

Oh dear God.

Wee glass of wine anyone? Crisp and chilled?

Three glasses of white please and an Earl Grey tea … for the driver with her sensible shoes.

Everyone spoke together. Thanks Sally!

Sally smiled remembering.

They’d obviously had a good day and their stories and giggling about dressing rooms and special mirrors and sizing was infectious. People around them laughed including the woman in the corner and the girl with the sensible shoes and the shutter girl. The mood was lighter; for the moment the world, here, a better place.

Life and laughter.

a new day

As the girl pulled back the shutters and opened the windows, the cool air spread throughout the room. The sun would arrive later. She’d been given the task of opening up this morning and she sang softly to herself wondering what the day would bring. It seemed so cliched and she smiled; happy to be in this special place where people brought new stories and old stories, words that would nourish and refresh. A gift. She knew that this was how it had always been.



Or that’s how it seemed. On the day it opened this little tea shop was filled. Not to bursting but just enough to makes sure each table had company. And it had been so since then; a steady flow of traffic.

People sharing.


This place had been a godsend and a refuge when hope seemed a long way off.

The thought of a tea shop having the power to heal made her smile; the first time in a while. Therapeutic.

She’d come to enjoy its cosy intimacy and laid back attitude. No questions. No rush. Acceptance amongst strangers.

A few months ago she’d hide in the corner. Invisible and separate. She didn’t know then that she was anything but invisible and the strangers around her sensed and understood her need for solace and safety.

Is anyone sitting here?