E-mail from Susan Hill this morning:
I think I should thank you for the memorable Saturday morning you unwittingly gave my wife and me a couple of weeks ago.
I'd never heard of it before, but having read your praise of Crockatt & Powell on your blog we decided to explore the shop for ourselves. Everything about the day conspired to make the experience a memorable one. We came on one of those brisk, cloudless mornings where one can't help but feel happy, and at an hour when it felt as if we had the street practically to ourselves.
We then discovered, a few doors up from the bookshop, one of those wonderfully idiosyncratic cafes that are something of a dying breed in England's increasingly homogeneous cities. You may know it - it's Portuguese, I think, with an atmosphere that somehow just instantly strikes you as being unusually welcoming. I was, I admit, somewhat bewildered to find that the very friendly man who served us was wearing a pair of greasy work overalls - but then I subsequently discovered a fully operational workshop downstairs!
And as for the bookshop, not only did we love it for its atmosphere, the books themselves and the leather chair in which we took turns to browse through them, but we even had an unexpected "star spot" when Sarah Waters (apparently a local resident) suddenly entered and randomly signed a few of her books for the proprietor!
Not bad eh? The cafe is obviously Scooterworks - fifi is Italian and so is the fantastic coffee.