Classic Cafes: Corner Cafe, Empress Place SW6

Enclaves of the '50s & 60s


'West London twin of the old Tea Rooms. Looks unchanged, more or less, since the 1960's. The exterior is nondescript, but for the faded Pepsi sign, menu, and net curtains there's little evidence of its classic status. Internally, this Italian-owned cafe retains a coherent, spartan 50s/60s feel, with Formica-topped tables, wooden benches and original floor tiles. There's a great Formica-topped counter, red-mottled Formica walls, glass-display and traditional metal double-barrelled tea & coffee maker. Customers are mainly the workers from the nearby Lillie Road bus depot, and Earls Court Arena and Exhibition centre. The caff may get a new (relative) lease of life when refurbished 60's landmark, the Empress State building fills up. Open Mon-Friday from about 7am to at least 2pm, Saturday mornings till about midday. The prices are dirt cheap.' (Patrick Turland)

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