IClassic Cafes becomes a Waterstone's best-seller!

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Classic Self-Aggrandisement: Best Seller - Official!

Bestseller: For several weeks now, 'Classic Cafes' has been nestling on the main lobby bestseller shelves of Waterstones' flagship store on Piccadilly.

Alongside this, news comes through that the first edition of the book is nearly sold out.

With remaining copies in short supply, be sure to get to the shops now to stock up on Xmas supplies...


Classic Cafes is the first ever study of the vintage UK working-man's Formica caff, an institution perilously close to vanishing without trace or acclaim.

Part sentimental journey, psychogeographic incursion and alternative architectural gazetteer, Classic Cafes is a shadow social history that shows how London's cultural ascendancy in the 1960s began life in the classic cafes of the 1950s.

Written by Adrian Maddox (with architectural photography by Phil Nicholls and Peter Anderson), pretty well all of the pictures and text are wholly exclusive to the book.

The best-selling book also features: an extensive gazetteer, filmography, bibliographic research sources, new interviews... and much, much more. Acclaimed by The Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Observer, Independent & Time Out. Click here for Author biog & Financial Times interview; click here for The Times feature on Classic Cafes.


"cultural studies of the best kind... sumptuous... beautiful... breathtaking... well-judged... deeply evocative... crisp... vibrant, loving... Cinematic... a tribute of a quality the humble caff deserves... buy a copy and head for your local to enjoy it."
Sam Carpenter, Royal Institute of British Architects

"genius... passionate, elegiac, surprising, and beautifully illustrated... a wonderful book... with a well-researched argument to make us look again at the familiar and to revel in quotidian detail... Through detail also comes something of the optimism, dynamism but also distinctly English pragmatism of many post-war cafes firmly positioned in the vanguard of Festival culture..."
Dr Philip Carter, 20th Century Society/Oxford University Press

"For Adrian Maddox... the working man's caff is more a quick-fix pit stop, as he makes clear in Classic Cafes, his study of mid-20th-century British Diners. Food is "immaterial" to whether a cafe makes the grade. Rather, it's the drab grot of cafes that Maddox loves - the "smudged walls" and "scurvy curtains", the melancholy and Pinter-esque ambience. Phil Nicholls's photographs, which accompany Maddox's words, capture exactly that... the easy-wipe surfaces, the Pyrex vinegar container, the squeezy bottles of ketchup and brown sauce, the Formica tabletop, faux-leather banquettes and gaudy tiles... Classic Cafes is motivated by nostalgia for an era in which identikit coffee joints hadn't "brutally Starbuck-ed" our high streets... "
Alastair Sooke, Daily Telegraph

"Architecture books are usually either glossy, shallow, picture-book porn, or indigestibly laden with cultural theory architectspeak. Some, though, get it just right... If we are allowed one glossy picturebook, let it be Classic Cafés, by Adrian Maddox... Once the Empire was supported on the joy of crouching over a bacon butty and a piping hot cuppa on sticky Formica, huddled out of the rain behind steamed-up windows... Come revel in a fading world where drabness is good and the bubble and squeak is even better."
Tom Dyckhoff, The Times (Christmas books choice)

"Adrian Maddox... sees creeping homogeneity as a quiet tragedy. He has produced a thinking person's coffee-table book, packed with atmospheric photographs... Maddox makes the case for seeing the cafes of the 1950s and 1960s as salons for a new, de-industrialised, post-imperial Britain... as hallowed zones in which the dynamics and cross-currents of city life could be tapped into."
Suhkdev Sandhu, New Statesman & 3AM

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