Costa Coffee’s sales have continued to rise over the past six months - up 23.6% in the half-year to 14 August. In its interim statement, parent company Whitbread said the brand had demonstrated "good growth", with like-for-likes up 3.7%.

Half-year results will be published on 14 October. Whitbread - which also owns Premier Inn and pub restaurants - saw total sales jump 14.2% compared to the previous year.

Costa has also transformed its café in Bold Street, Liverpool, into a "poetry café" in honour of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture 2008 status. Highlights of its autumn programme include open-mike poetry and sessions with Liverpool’s Yellow House - a community group working with young people through the arts.