Classic Cafes: Vernasca special

East End Enclaves of the '50s & 60s


The old Vernasca is tucked away off the Sunday bustle of Petticoat Lane market in Wentworth Street. You'll only catch a glimpse of it by looking hard behind the bag stalls. Somewhat the worse for wear externally, we still like the cheery purple folded awnings and the mutlicoloured signs. Inside the dark sensurround rosewood gleams under the lamps. With no windows, the only natural illumination comes from whatever determined secondhand daylight makes it through the main street window. Granted, the false ceiling strikes a wrong note but it's the pervasive, low-level murk and gloom which makes the place attractive... along with the serried ranks of green booths and the neat little plum-coloured cup and saucer sets. See it now before the sickening Camden-ization of Spitalfields lays waste to every corner of this area.

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