18 Jul 2008

Cafe Formica

DEPENDING ON your cultural appetite, the capital's classic formica cafes are persistently greasy, sad souvenirs from the 50's, or bacon, egg (and bubble) bastions battling it against Starbuck St.
For many these often retrospectively beautiful caffeine cabins garner great affection whilst serving cheap, ample portions. I proposed a series of shorts to Channel 4 a few years ago, looking at a handful of family owned, around-the-clock operations.
My favourites:
1). Maria's Market Cafe, Borough Market (Jamie Oliver's favourite) [PICTURE]
2). E. Pellici, Bethnal Green (beautiful, listed interior)
3). Bar Italia, Soho (caffe corretto)
4). River Cafe, Putney Bridge (pictured; it has lots of escapist posters)
Unfortunately the commissioning editor had the enthusiasm of a clogged artery, so the films never got made. If you want to explore the world of the classic cafe, however, take a look at Classic Cafes and also the witty London Review of Breakfasts.
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My latest words in the Southwark News, 'Roots in History', may be found HERE.