Monday, 29 November 2010

London for Food Lovers (Part 1) by Cynthia Clampitt

With thanks to Cynthia Clampitt

Just click on the Title to link to Cynthia’s Food Blog……

England has long been on the cutting edge of culinary consumption. It was in England in 1700 that milk was first added to chocolate. Earlier still, it was England that initiated Europe’s love affair with coffee. Though coffee was being drunk in Muslim countries as early as the 15th century, it was not until a Jewish merchant from Turkey opened a coffee house in Oxford in 1650 that coffee culture really caught hold in Europe. France was next, then Vienna, and soon coffee houses were all over Europe. In England, coffee houses became the gathering places of intellectuals, politicians, and anyone else who liked to talk. One great chain of coffee houses, Kardomah, became a fixture in the high streets of towns throughout the UK. Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and his circle of friends frequented these shops with such regularity that they were known as “the Kardomah boys.” I can remember stopping at a Kardomah coffee house when I first visited London at age 14. They served coffee with amber sugar crystals, rather than plain, white sugar. I was enchanted. Today, though Starbucks has now displaced the majority of the old Kardomah cafés, there is still a lovely coffee culture in England.

Copyright Cynthia Clampitt ©2010
(This originally appeared in a different form in Hungry Magazine.)

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Kardomah Cafe Newport, Commercial Street


By Eiona Roberts

The Kardomah Kaff

Oh! The aroma
In the Kardomah
The coffee they serve you
Is truly to die for.
Oh! The aroma
In the Kardomah,
The Kenco they pour you -
A reason to live for.

Sunday roast, cheese on toast,
Lemon meringue, apple tart.
Luscious coffee, 'Please a top up'
These are things that warm my heart.
Chocolate eclair - (hope one's there!)
What I'd give for strawberry gateaux.
Toasted tea - cake, strawberry milkshake
Sweet and soulful, revives your heart.

Oh! The aroma
In the Kardomah.
And the staff are a wonder -
Always a smile
Oh! The whole aura
Of the Kardomah
Makes your brief stay there
Quite worth the while!

Sue Lewis, Newport South Wales

Newport lost its Kardoma many years ago but those of us who are 50+ remember it fondly as a place to meet as teenagers and be "sophisticaed" drinking russian tea in glass with silver holders.

A generation earlier my mother had worked as a kitchen hand and in the 60s, she and I would have poached egg on toast in our lunch hours and she would tell me how she polished every brass band on the staircase. A lovely, innocent time.
Tue Dec 12 09:08:56 2006

Kardomah Cafe Princes's Street Edinburgh



Does anyone know how long this cafe was open?

If so drop me a line.....

Monday, 22 November 2010

The Paris Kardomah

The Medova Tea Rooms, ^ Ruede I'Echelle, and Kardomah,
184, Rue de Rivoli, are also much frequented by British

The smart tea-rooms resorted to by the more elegant
Parisians and the wealthier members of the Anglo-American
colony are Rumpelmayer's

Could anyone put a date to this? Any help much appreciated……..

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Kardomah Cafe Website

Please visit the website..... just click on the title......

All the Cafes by location and much more....

Kardomah By Peter Finch (Cardiff)

From a book by Peter Finch,Real Cardiff, published by Seren Books

Just click on the Post Tiltle to visit:


Billy's coming out of the KD fast with half a kilo of Moroccan Red making a bulge the size of a bible in his inside pocket. He could shift, easy, but there's a face at the far end he doesn't like. Safer in the street.

The KD's got old ladies in fox firs downstairs and mods up. Parkas. Hoods. Students. Youth.

The guy with the Italian bush shirt comes in bearing a copy of Adrian Mitchell's Peace is Milk … War is Acid, printed as a folded handbill by Peace News, sold cheap, in the style, exactly, of the penny ballads of centuries before. You read the poem. The hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

They won't have war. These people'll stop it. Girl in the yellow jeans. The ponytail. Stones haircut. The beard. The round-collared jacket. The one using the Rizla. The one with the bag from C&As.

Coffee arrives in the national consciousness like a post-war automobile, desirable shining. The stuff gives the heart a hit into overdrive but when you're young you don't notice. Not at all.

At the front, overlooking the street, the fifth form trying it with no money have one tea between six and eagerness like a rainstorm. Can cope with poetry, the bomb and the Beatles. Easy.

All this'll slide apart when commerce demolishes the walls and inflates Timothy Whites from small sensible next door into a vast Boots, grown enormously beyond pharmacy, spread from the JD delivery lane to Frederick Street and beyond. But that's not yet.

The guy with the guitar in the soft case can't play. Mouth matchstick. War Resistors International broken rifle in his right lapel. Sports coat doubling as hipness. Read Howl. Looking for angels.

Queen Street outside full of cars and choke. The stunning space of pedestrianisation, when it comes, shocking the city into wondering how ever had they let the past be like it was.

This was Crockerton Street until Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887. The KD was a slum of veg sold from pots, stink and bad drainage. Sludge. Sailors with sticks. Normans with swords.

By the time the bomb had migrated to missile and the ban had seeped like damp across the West the young had become older and no longer cared. Upstairs at the back of Boots they'd put in a coffee shop. Crowds of them in there. Mothers. Bags. Loyalty cards. Pushchairs with golf-trolley wheels. Cake. Café Latte. No Russian Tea.

Dope elsewhere. Anywhere. Hedonistic Cardiffian nightlife essential. No cultural trappings. Not any more.

Peter Finch

Cilla Black

Cilla Blacks return to Mathew Street…..

Did you used to drink in the Kardomah at that time… if so drop me a line.

The return to Liverpool will also be nostalgic: "Mathew Street is great. They’ve still got the pub where The Beatles went. I just went to the Kardomah for coffee."

Cilla Black’s debut single was “Love of the Loved”, a Lennon-McCartney composition mainly written by Paul McCartney. Black (born Priscilla White) was contracted with manager Brian Epstein as his only female client. George Martin, who signed Cilla to Parlophone Records, produced her recording of the song. Released September 27, 1963, the single peaked at a modest number 35 on the UK Singles Chart, and was not to be one of her bigger hits.

“Love of the Loved” was one of Paul McCartney’s earliest compositions and the Beatles performed it in their live act in their early years. The band recorded the song during their 1962 audition for Decca Records, but it has never been included in any of their official releases. It was even left off of 1995's Anthology 1 (compilation CDs that covered 1958-1964), supposedly vetoed from inclusion by McCartney.

The Cavern Club

Mike Remembers The Beatles in the Kardomah on the corner of Stanley Street, then onto the Cavern Club......

Mike Campbell, Liverpool, UK
I was fortunate to have been around at the time The Beatles were just taking Liverpool by storm. I used to have coffee with John and other mates including Paul and George at The El Cabala in Bold Street or The Kardomah on the corner of Stanley Street. I was able to see them at lunchtime sessions in The Cavern and all over the place at night gigs. I told my parents that I had seen this group who were going to change music forever. I was 16 and had had 2 pints of lager and they sent me to bed because they thought I was drunk !!! But they changed music and John changed my outlook on almost every aspect of life. Not a single day goes by that I don't miss him. Feel free to contact me Lennon People.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Beatles

Did the Beatles ever use the Kardomah Cafe?

If you have any recollections drop me a line......

Friday, 5 November 2010

The Candy Harlots at the Kardomah Cafe!

Candy Harlots History

Candy Harlots were formed in 1987 in Sydney by guitarist Ron Barrett (aka Ron B. Gypsy; ex-Glam Savages), drummer Tony Cardinal (ex-What??!!, Soggy Porridge), guitarist Marc De Hugar, vocalist Mark Easton (ex-Suicide Squad, Kelpies, Soggy Porridge, Glam Savages) and bass guitarist Nick Szentkuti (ex-Glam Savages). Szentkuti spent six months as bass guitarist, he was followed by Scott Millard (ex-The Faith) and then Leeno Dee (ex-Roxx).

The band developed an underground following around Sydney and were offered a recording deal with Virgin Records after three shows but their manager turned down the offer. The contract was not signed until the band had got out of their management deal four years later. They played in suburban Sydney pubs, with their main venues at the Kardomah Cafe in Kings Cross and the St James Tavern in the city. Candy Harlots secured support slots with The Cult, Cheap Trick, Divinyls, The Angels, Sunnyboys, Danish rock band D-A-D and Kings of the Sun.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Oxford Kardomah, 24 - 25 Cornmarket

Occupants of 24, 25 and 25a Cornmarket listed in directories etc

1973 - 1976 Kardomah Restaurant

Does anyone remember the restaurant, what it was like etc….

If you have any memories please post a comment….