I simply love The Cafe

The one and only The Cafe
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
Piccadilly Circus
London, W.1

Some history
More information, including a picture of the very friendly owner
A 360 degrees inside picture of the Cafe

“So how is your tea ?”
“Not bad, seeing as how they are Italian …”

8 thoughts to “I simply love The Cafe”

  1. Is there a chance that you are the only one thinking you screwed up? Happens all the time. Drink tea, there’s lots of tea ;-)

  2. Met een grote glimlach je website aan het bewonderen. Hoe ik er kom? De uitzending op NL 3 van The Girl in the Caf? was stap 1. Wat een parel van een film. Ik geloof dat ik na de eerste zin van Bill Nighy/Lawrence al van ‘m hield, en na de tweede geheel en al was verkocht: w?t een sympathiek karakter weet hij neer te zetten. En wat gun je die twee de relatie (en alles wat daarbij hoort). Hoe groots kan “klein” zijn: 2 mensen, een ontmoeting, een doel. En hartverwarmend en inleefbaar, de bekentenis dat hij “niet de man was geworden die hij droomde te worden”. Ook Kelly Macdonald is weergaloos.
    Afijn, met de herinnering aan de film op zak, is het fijn vertoeven in je ode aan de film, je info over het caf?, enzovoorts. Succes in Londen!!
    gr, Ruud (studeerde in 1995 af aan de NFTVA, regie/scenario fictie)

  3. Thank you Ruud, it was a pleasure to read your comment! It is a beautiful description of the film you are making there. And it is great to hear that men love Lawrence and Gina too. NFTVA, that was in Holland I assume ? I hope I get that far one day.
    Take care !

  4. Yes, I won’t ever forget Lawrence and Gina. High on my priority list: visiting the caf?. Or confronting the first bulldozer, like the famous Chinese student in front of a tank waving two plastic bags… (I mean, come on, rebuilding the block, closing down THE caf??!) Last Saturday, I saw Gideon’s Daughter, also a great film, and another great performance by Bill Nighy.
    NFTVA is in Holland, yes, A for Amsterdam, the film academy. One lesson I never forget was summed up this way: “About Who? About People!” Meaning: it’s not about “great filmmaking technique”, it’s truly, really, about revealing human characters. When a film moves you, you know what I mean. The Girl in the Caf? is a great and warm example of the truth of that motto, I think.
    Succes, take care! gr, Ruud (ps: London, I hope I get that far one day! :)

  5. Gideon is a nice film too, though not as touching as TGITC I found.
    The “I hope I get that far one day” was mostly meant, as I hope to somehow attend a fulltime film education one day. I have of course been in Amsterdam.
    And London – it’s not that far ! :)

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