Classic Cafes: L Rodi, E17, special

Caff enclaves of the 50s & 60s: L. Rodi


Splendid old caff that's been with the same family since 1925. The front room is a fantasy of marble-mint Formica set under sparkling Vitrolite; chrome edged tables are packed tight opposite an original counter which has a huge 1930s extractor pipe hovering over the tea boiler and a giant old English Electric fridge at the back; the upper walls are lined with authentic 1950s tobacco posters. The back room is a veritable caff museum: lined with emerald and off-white tiles; Victorian marble tables; a working grandfather clock that still chimes the hours; black-lacquer bentwood coathangers; framed menus from the past and beaten-silver signs embossed with the words 'Teas' and 'Suppers'. Overwhelming. Emotional. Essential.

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