Goodbye my dear Cafe

Goodbye my dear Cafe

16 Comments

  1. grigorisgirl · 21-09-2007

    So sad and I never made it up there:(

  2. Pedro · 21-09-2007

    The end of an era…

  3. Smile · 21-09-2007

    Oeh, poor you, poor cafĂ©. This is a very sad day…

  4. Greg Ogarrio · 22-09-2007

    I loved the New Piccadily. Lorenzo gave me one of his menus a few years back, I still have it of course, sandwiched in my photo album of my London holidays. A previous souvenir. Farewell Piccadilly.

  5. Jill · 22-09-2007

    I’ve never been there, but my heart cried with this post… What a beautiful way to say goodbye, Ingrid.

  6. Mark · 23-09-2007

    You know even at 11:45 people were waiting in a queue to say goodbye. By the time I came back at 1pm the place was packed and full of such happy sounds. People had brought bottles of wine and were just sitting, talking, jumping from one table to another to meet up with friends old and new. I stood and watched the queue : people whose first journey here had been as a result of reading of it’s closure and older people who must have grown up with this place a fixture in their lives. I guess we always thought it would be there, trapped in time and comforting as all around us there was change and rush.

    Inside people walked around with video cameras trying to capture every last moment of the cafe and the staff began to buckle with the number of orders.

    I took my bill and went to the till to say good bye to Lorenzo and walked away from a piece of my past …

  7. Louise · 23-09-2007

    Dear Lovely Girl In The Cafe I wanted to say thank you for coming and being in our film. Owen and I were there last night at the end with Lorenzo and the waiters and all his friends and his sons and the kitchen staff and he made a speech and everyone cheered and the night was at once a beautiful wake and a celebration of this inimitable place and these dear people. I first loved the cafe for its lemon yellow formica and red lightshades. I am so glad I learned the real reason it is special. Stay in touch. L

  8. Ingrid · 23-09-2007

    I intended not to comment on this post, but then all you nice people write all those wonderful things, so I feel I have to.

    I am very happy to read that I am not the only person who knows what a special place it was, and I am pleased to read comments from people who know the place and appreciate it as much as I do.

    @Greg : take good care of your menu, when I was there on Friday they were all gone and replaced by B&W paper copies …

    @Mark, I loved reading your comment, and your

    “I guess we always thought it would be there, trapped in time and comforting as all around us there was change and rush.” is beautifully accurate.

    It is why I loved that place and why I am going to miss it so much. The contrast between the Cafe and the craziness around Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and the real world as a whole is striking, it was a place to wind down, to relax, to clear your head and to reflect on the world outside. Where can we go now?

    @Louise – you don’t have to thank me, it was a pleasure, and I am very happy that you captured the Cafe on film. I know that project is in very good hands. I didn’t want to go there on the last day, I was there early on Friday, queued shortly because I wanted to sit at the right table one more time, I drunk my tea, handed the postcard to Lorenzo said goodbye and left with tears in my eyes.

    I look very much forward to see the film when it’s ready to be shown.

  9. Annerie · 28-09-2007

    ok, crying now. I’ve never even been there, but I loved it anyway !

  10. inge · 28-09-2007

    looking for nice photos on the web, we ran into your photoblog, pf course i started reading your weblog ;-) intrigued by your story on the movie i had to see it! i also read about TGITC-tour, but i decided i couldn’t wait, so i ordered it from bol.com, and when it arrived, we watched it that evening.
    watching it, i realised i had seen it sometime before…. probably on television… but with your stories on your blog in mind, i looked at it in a whole different perspective ;-)
    so the cafe closed…. but there will always be the movie and your memories…

  11. Ingrid · 29-09-2007

    @Greg : nice one.

    @Annerie – what can I say. It is vanished completely, it’s sad.

    @Inge – thanks for stopping by. I am glad you enjoyed the movie. You might have seen it on the telly, it is a movie made for TV.

    I know there will be the movie (several movies actually) and my memories, but right now, that doesn’t seem enough. It’s hard to find a new place.

  12. Greg Ogarrio · 29-09-2007

    Vanished, just like that. Like Lorenzo packed it all up into suitcase and left. Pffffftttt! Is it just a vacant lot, now?

    As for a new cafe, I imagine Bethnal Green and the fine E Pellicci is a bit too far to make a second home. For Soho, I do like Patisserie Valerie on Old Compton Street, Maison Berteaux nearby has charm, though these are more rightly tea/pastrie shops.

  13. Ingrid · 29-09-2007

    Exactly like that, everything is gone. It’s now just an empty building. I am not sure it is available for rental, as, as far as I understood, that particular block will go down at some point and will be rebuilt into something soulless.

    E Pellici – I will definitely visit it, but it’s a bit on the wrong side of town for me. I know Valerie and will probably visit Berteaux too, but as you say they are not real cafe’s. I loved the seats in the New Piccadilly, the fact that you could hide yourself away in this space with a table and 2 benches. That’s what I am looking for, and then preferably located somewhere in Central London. Yeah, right, forget it.

  14. Greg Ogarrio · 06-10-2007

    I finally saw the film last night for the first time. Lovely. Poignant from the very first frame. One thing I don’t if anyone has commented on before (pardons if they have) but among the DVD extras is one deleted scene in the cafe with Lorenzo behind his counter for what must be at least 30-60 seconds while Bill N. and a co-star talk at one of the tables, not THE table, but one in the center of the New Piccadilly.

  15. Danielle · 08-01-2009

    I was gutted when they closed. I didn’t even now about it until I walked past one day on my lunch only to find it boarded up.

    It had been about three months since I had been inside. I could have gone numerous times on my own during the week but it was a special place for me and my boyfriend so we only went together.

    It was the last stop on our never-ending first date. He had tea (I think), I had a Cola float (which I had to explain to the waiter as per usual!) and we shared fries drowned in brown sauce.

    I feel that all of the special places in London are making way for more and more chain stores and that bit by bit the magic is slowly draining away.

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