The New Piccadilly Cafe, London
I can’t believe I’m actually here. In THE Cafe. And I am amazed, because The Cafe is only a 50 meters walk from the hotel I have been staying serveral times, while in London. I had no idea.
I don’t think the Cafe has been discovered as being The Cafe. It’s peaceful and quiet, in a sidestreet away from the busy heart of London. The owner is discussing rugby with one of his waiters.
He asks what he can help me with.
I just wanted a cup of tea, of course. Without milk.
“Oh, the Continental version” he says.
And I said “yes”.
“So you are from Holland then ?” He guessed right after only a few words.
“Yes, but I actually live in Denmark at the moment. ”
“Oh, so you speak danish too ? ”
“Any other languages ?”
“Well a bit of German” I answered him.
“Oh quite a continental girl then. So a continental cup of tea for you.”
“Yes, even though I am moving to London very soon, so maybe I should get used to the tea with milk, the British way.”
“Yes, cut the continental crap, one English tea for the lady !” he shouted.
And I got my cup of tea, with milk. I shake a bit too much and the plate is flooding with tea already.
“Give the lady a new plate, she is shaking. Sit down, he’ll bring you your tea.”
I sat down on the (so very well known) red seats, behind the yellow formica tables. It was so recognizable all together.
I got my tea and observed The Cafe closely.
It is smaller than it looked in the film, but it looks exactly the same (of course it does, this is the place). It is very cosy, and relaxed being here, a carefully hidden place in the very heart of London.
I didn’t make it to The Cafe before the job interview, because of Underground problems. But now I’m here, trying to refuel after an exhausting day. And I am absolutely happy sitting here, on this very place.
A cup of tea is only 80p, which is about Euro 1.25, which is absolutely unbelievable. And you get the great atmosphere for free. I ate some pasta too, and the total amount I had to pay for 2 tea, and the pasta was ? 6.50. I can’t believe it.
After an hour or a bit longer, having written this post in the Cafe (on paper, because a laptop doesn’t belong in this place) with a big smile on my face, as they are still discussing rugby, I pay the bill.
I asked the owner how he could survive with these incredible low prices.
And he said that he doesn’t want to be a tourist trap place. He wants to run a typical English style cafe, for the working class people, where everybody can afford to come and buy a cup of tea, or something to eat.
I loved the Cafe even more now.
I told him that I simply loved his cafe, and that I would return for sure.
He smiled and thanked me.
And oh yes I had a jobinterview today. I totally sucked, I messed up, or rather I didn’t fit into job description, and I was pretty down and out when I left from there. I jumped on the Underground and went straight to The Cafe. After 2 minutes there I felt great again, didn’t care at all about the jobinterview, and was happy about the fact that I had just found my absolute favorite spot in London, and all this on my very first day.
I recommend everybody who ever comes to London, to visit it.
New Piccadilly Cafe
8 Denman Street
“So how is your tea ?”
“Not bad, seeing as how they are Italian …”