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Harris' Cafe Rest, W12


Beppe's signage, Smithfield EC1

Harp [Uxbridge Rd W12] NEW
Altogether perkier than the Vukelic, this is a voyage back to normality. Actual customers lolling about and a decent plain interior make this yet another suitable addition to the formica legions that seem to flourish round Shepherd Bush. The massive development plan for the Green however almost certainly means all of these dives are under threat.

Rosa's [Westbourne Pk Rd W2]
Pleasant small cafe with two burgundy banquette seats, panelled interior, blonde pine formica tables and trestle style chairs. Walls lined with old Italian tourist posters - in a very pleasant street near The Cow pub.

Marie's Cafe [Lower Marsh SW1]RIP
V. good tiny pre-war cafe. Great tables. Great early 20thC int. Also Thai menu!

Perdonni's [Oval Tube Station Cafe]RIP
Brilliant preserved int. - ext ruined in tube refit - fears for int.

Butties Coffee Lounge [Nr. East Croydon train station] RIP 2000
Amazing ext. sign and 70s "Bedazzled" int. "Synthetic-exotic" look. Worth the journey. "Went to visit this cafe in Croydon today and it wasn't there. A security guard at Suffolk house told me it had closed about 3 years ago. It became a tapas bar which has also since closed. Another one bites the dust." (Alan Maddock Feb 2003)

Pickles Cafe [nr Sumner St SE1 - close to Tate Modern]
Cracking little find. Good tables and generally dingy interior with unobjectionable modern chairs. The area is full of old warehouses and office blocks giving it a lost prototype-docklands feel. The pub next door looks especially good too.

New Grosvenor Cafe [Horseferry Rd SW1]
A few doors up from the magnificent Fiesta, this has - again - a brilliant sign in Gill typeface with great red leatherette seating and classic tables. Some of the other chairs are modern but quite well suited. Good counter too, but The Italian Restaurant in Rochester Row and neighbouring Fiesta are the real jewels in the crown of forgotten Victoria.

San Siro [Parliament Hill]
Good, old and rundown. Fair int. In terminal decline for decades.

Daquise [South Ken tube]
Old 60s Polish restaurant with troubled waitresses and good interior. Not really a cafe but with a unique refugee atmosphere.

Dino's [Spitalfields nr. Hawksmoor]
Good Italian - good seats. Dumb waiter. Excellent specialist chips. Quite near the legendary Market Cafe in Fournier St, beloved of Gilbert and George.

Golden Hind [Marylebone Lane W1]
Excellent fish and chip cafe. Good int. Irregular hours.

Frank's [Addison Bridge Place Olympia W8]
Uniquely situated above a railway line, this is a superb old US diner-style place with crumbling interior, single stool seating and a picturesque deco counter area. It's actually built out of an old abandoned signal box. Along with the Snack Bar in Brooks Mews, this is one of the only surviving London cafes to be listed in Jonathan Routh's The Good Cuppa Guide of 1966.

Remos [Morden]
Large and airy. Good int. Interesting decor. Worth a visit.

Modern Cafe [Kings Cross by Scala] RIP 2001

The Modern Cafe had the bad luck of being in one of the most disgusting crack-zones in the capital - right by the Scala nightclub/cinema/venue. You could watch in horror as the pavement outside swarmed with zombie-like pimps marching their drugged, drooling charges up and down the streets. These horrific scenes were utterly at odds with the haven of leatherette inside the Modern; a winning little leftover from better days when the place must have been rammed with civilised commuters. Looked at from outside, your first impulse is to flee as fast as possible. But nip inside and indulge your most feral Travis Bickle fantasies about washing away the scum outside... over a soothing bacon sandwich, of course. Hard rain's gonna come...

Serafino [Mount St W1] RIP
More a restaurant but great dark booth/lounge interior - "forgotten Mayfair" feel. Magnificent sign. One of the few places in London to approach an LA style synthesis. Again, not a proper cafe but contains key elements that make it a close relative.

Starburger [King St W6] RIP
V. good Bedazzled 70s. Awful ext. but interesting int.


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