“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Save Our Cafes.

Regular visitors to this blog will be aware that when I'm not working up the allotment or hijacking peaceful demonstrations, I'm a noted figure in cafe society. If there is one thing I'm fond of it's a decent cafe. We all have our favourites but surely one of the finest eating houses in London, if not the world, is the Regency just off Horseferry Road. Cafes have been a vital part of our cultural landscape since the Second World War. The first teenage social scene that I was a part of revolved around a cafe in Francis Road Leyton, where we would feed the jukebox coins and ourselves tea and buns. At about the time that the traditional cafe was coming under threat from rising rents and a rising Starbucks lo and behold they started to become cult establishments. I welcome this trend and hope that the revival in interest of the past few years will help save our remaining cafes. Fear of losing such wonderful places generated a few books and websites that are all worth a look. You could make a start by visiting the very excellent Great British Cafes followed by Adrian Maddox's Classic Cafes site and book of the same name. Eggs Bacon Chips And Beans should also be mentioned as should Edwin Heathcote's London Caffs. This last is a fine little pocket size book that's just right for a quick read while the finishing touches are being applied to your black pudding. The trouble is that cafes are closing at an alarming rate and all these books and sites will be out of date to some extent.
Get out there and support our cafes - and swear on this sacred sauce bottle that you will never cross the threshold of a Starbucks.

1 comment:

Gitane said...

Sorry mate but you're incorrect about cafe's being a part of our live's for half a dozen decades. Oldroyd mentions a small enclave in South London that has continually served up food for the travelling poor since Roman times. More Levy Strauss and less of the British historical retoric s'il vous plait? Pie, mash, eels and liquor vs the full english?Got to be the former , surely!