I have a vague feeling that I’m supposed to hate Starbucks, but I can’t remember why. I used to think it was because they put proper coffee shops out of business, but then I remembered that we haven’t had proper coffee shops in the UK since the 1930s.

Anyway, I like Starbucks. I don’t go there very often, but when I do, I really like it. I like that you can sit on sofas and armchairs instead of on poky little wooden chairs, and I like that the music is quiet enough that you can read without hearing it, and I like how warm and steamy it is, and that you can buy a Guardian to accompany your coffee (or, in my case, tea), and I like that they ask whether you want them to leave room for the milk but let you pour the milk yourself.

The coffee may quite possibly be dreadful, but since I dislike and disapprove of coffee, this doesn’t deter me at all. The one thing I’d change, in fact, would be to make them open later, so that you could meet friends there in the evening rather than at the pub. Oh, and I’d have them make their cheese and marmite panini available all day, rather than just at breakfast time.

Still, if anyone can remember why I’m supposed to hate them, please let me know.