The End Of The Cafe Royal


From Whistler to Wilde, from Augustus John to Aubrey Beardsley, through sips of absinthe and clouds of cigar smoke, the Cafe Royal in Regent Street played host to London’s artistic elite. But after years of slow decline it’s going, to be turned into yet another upmarket hotel. Its furniture goes under the hammer on January 20th.
I’ve been to many parties in its upstairs rooms (and have hosted a couple) so I’m sorry to see a piece of London history go – it would be nice to think they’ll return the ground floor cafe to its glamorous heyday…we can but dream.

9 comments on “The End Of The Cafe Royal”

  1. I.A.M. says:

    What a shame of the loss of little places of joy such as the Café Royal, as it’s these which make life a richer one, and which provide London its unique character in a world of rapidly increasing homogeneous façades. Part of it is the needless yearning for constantly increasing profit which demands ‘break-even’ businesses to surrender to the boot-shod army of Big Business interests stomping upon the faces of lesser ventures… forever.

    But perhaps that’s a bit ‘bolshi’.

    To return to the loss of the fabled café: Damn! One more place which is now beyond experience, as one never got past Haymarket in October (so, no, Picadilly wasn’t seen either). Granted, the Savoy was closed for renos at that point as well, so perhaps staying there will make up for the loss of the Royal… although the Travelodge did have that particular charm which only slumming can provide…

  2. Steve says:

    Ah, but then as someone once mentioned to me when I remarked on the loss of London’s history – it always seems to reassert itself somehow. In time.

  3. Chris Tandy says:

    But Chris, are you going along to the auction? And if you do, what small souvenir would you like to come away with?

  4. admin says:

    I’d bid for the spoons, perhaps. Or the absinthe glasses, if they still had them. The ones poor Ronnie Firbank drank from while consuming his famous dinner of a single pea.

  5. antonio Nasciemnto Thomas says:

    I am so really sad, because Royal cafe close the doors. This was very special for me, with so much history, I don´t undersatnd nothing. Maybe there the new hotel will be impersonal like this ugly world that is growing

  6. antonio nasciemnto thomas says:

    I am really sad, because in this world the money is the great value, now the ugly things is growing in every corner. The bad education is there in every side of this world ,The new rich society is the ownwer an destroy the beauty things. I don´t Know, Who buy the Royal cafe but is a person o a group with very poor mind, because they want tramsform a tradicion in a impersonal room. The world is changing, the men is other. Now the minds don´t have any culture,I will be happy in the century XIX with peace. The modern things are stupids and uglies

  7. Mike Hutton says:

    I am just completing a book on London in the 1920’s and am anxious to include photographs of the period. Any used in the publication would be acknowledged.

  8. Mike Hutton says:

    I am writing a book on London in the 1920’s and am anxious to include photographs of the period. Any used in the publication would of course be acknowledged.

  9. Ken Beels says:

    My wife’s Great Grandfather was a waiter here during the late 1800’s. Does anyone know if the employee records are still in existence and where? I have spoken to the relevant council, who suggested I try The Records Office in Kew. I drew a blank there also. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

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