Sheffield station has to be one of the better places to have to wait for a train. Not only is it home to the Sheffied Tap – a fabulous real ale pub in the Midland Railway opulence of the former refreshment room – but there is now a Starbucks kiosk on the platform. Good job there’s not one on Derby station or I may be tempted to take up train spotting. (Again!)
Um. Having now used the Starbucks kiosk pictured above, I’m less enthused. I’d enjoyed a pint of Dark Star Milk Chocolate Stout and another of Partridge Best Bitter (no, never heard of it, either) in the Sheffield Tap. So I felt obliged to wash the beer down with a Pike Place as the 1654 Edinburgh – Plymouth Cross Country rolled in.
The telltale “we don’t take Starbucks cards here” notice (because they are a licencee, not a real Starbucks) was a bit of a warning. So I wasn’t overly surprised when the Barista told me the “filter coffee was off” and “would I like an Americano instead”. Normal practice in a real Starbucks in such cases is to charge the same as a drip coffee, but given its licencee status, I wasn’t at all surprised when I was charged for an Americano. So, it’s £2.10 rather than £1.70, but it still bugs me no end when it happens.
The licencee Starbucks at Pride Park have tried it on a few times and I’ve always challenged it, with the result that the last couple of times they’ve “run out” of fresh coffee, they’ve done the right thing. This time, two pints of fine ale to the better, I was sufficiently chilled and decided to live with it. Still think it amounts to sharp practice though.