Interview: Adrian Maddox Of Classic Cafes

By Rob Last edited 164 months ago
Interview: Adrian Maddox Of Classic Cafes

We've always big fans of Adrian Maddox's Classic Cafes site (not to mention his book) here at Londonist, so when we were casting around for ideas on who to interview for our 'occassional series' Adrian's name was at the top of our list.

So, after he'd finished writing walking guides for Time Out and the Guardian he got round to the much more important task of answering the now legendary Londonist questionnaire.

Age, occupation, where are you from, where are you now?

Age: 35

Occupation: Author/editor/populuxe anomalist

Where are you from: Stoke on Trent (The Grim Smile of the Five Towns)

Where are you now: Booth 4b, New Piccadilly (poste restante)

Where does your love of cafes originate - can you trace it back to one single childhood experience or is it just something that developed over time?

Shopping trips/library visits with my grandmother at an impressionable age. Specifically, (as far as I can remember) Sidolli's, Newcastle Under Lyme. Also... the dozens of 50s cafe bars that used to radiate out from Barcelona's Ramblas (some are still in situ but there were many, many more in the late 80s/90s); the (ex) Brockwell Cafe (Brixton/Herne Hill borders); the (ex) Monaco in Great Russell Street; the (ex) Regent Snack Bar; Alfredo's (as was); Pellicci's (as is); long afternoons at the New Piccadilly (ongoing)

Can we press you to name your ultimate London cafe? Or would that be too hurtful to all the other marvellous establishments out there?

In deference to Nevio (Pellicci's) & Lorenzo (New Piccadilly) I'll have to say my latest discovery... "El Rei de Cafe Snack Bar", c de Travessera, Gracia, Barcelona - the best caff London never had.

On your site you bemoan the Corporate Mono-culture that is taking over our lives. Can we do something to slow this process down or even stop it all together - or is too late?

Too late - but by supporting the policies New Economics Foundation (and/or) The Institute for Local Self Reliance we can all die with dignity.

Is Starbucks getting better or worse?

Better/worse? .... Nemesis (and/or) hubris seem more appropriate terms.

What is happening with the New Piccadilly now - can you bring us up to date?

The fightback begins (and/or) the healing has begun

Can you tell us what your favourite cafe meal would be?

"Bikini" - Spanish version of toasted ham and chese sandwich (and/or) filled Staffordshire Oatcakes.

Be honest: is your house full of formica?

There's probably more Pyrex and Melamine ... and Naugahyde

Favorite London bar or restaurant?

Two lost hotel bars and a moribund private members club I'm duty bound not reveal.

What advice would you give Ken Livingstone?

Beware the Ides of March

What London place or thing would you declare a landmark?

Lorenzo Marioni's horsehoe clock (and/or) cravat.

The world is ending in 24 hours. How would you spend your last day in London?

Exploring Lorenzo's unique unpasteurised fine wines.

Last Updated 07 July 2005