Friday, 20 August 2010
There are certain times when only a traditional cafe will do. After a long day or a hard night nothing brings relief like strong tea, frothy coffee and something greasy and sustaining to eat. If you can add some '50s interior decor, a good display of formica and a forlorn air of days wasted and dreams unfulfilled it's a perfect combination.
Everyone has their favourites and the New Picadilly, just off Piccadilly Circus was mine. Popular but never too busy it was the perfect haven from the hustle of London's West End. The waiters still wore a sort of white smock uniform, the wireless was always tuned to Radio 3 and the BYO sign in the window made it a great cheap night out.
Having been under threat for years the developers finally closed it last year. Rumour suggested the V&A might purchase the interior but sadly it's more likely the choice fittings were stripped and the rest ended up in a skip.
My Starbucks Grande Latte will never compare.
Scans from the wonderful Adrian Maddox 'Classic Cafes', Black Dog 2003