Thursday, 11 February 2010

We are the village green etc.

It's taken me a while to come round to the charms of Kingston, but one I've known about for years is Banquet Records. A very decent record shop, certainly the equal of most to be found in central London. I never seem to buy anything there though for some reason. The other day I was leaving the shop empty handed yet again when I noticed the cafe next door. It was about lunchtime so I thought I'd give it a go.

I'm so glad I did. It's called the Eden Cafe and it's an absolute classic. A pine clad cavern, quite dingy, orange molded plastic chairs, a games machine that nobody plays, menus with apostrophes all over the place, a slightly grumpy woman behind the counter (bound to have a heart of gold). The food pops out of a little service hatch at the back of the cafe. That's my usual up there - totally standard greasy spoon sausages, absolutely fantastic chips (and lots of them too, I think they like me), and the egg. I've been back twice and the eggs do have a tendency to have that transparent runny bit in them. But that is the only weakness. Sadly I read somewhere that it might be in danger of closing down.

I visited a blog somewhere dedicated to documenting cafes and they had a little audio sample, which I thought was a nice touch. So I've copied the idea.

Cafe Noise

My only other Kingston find is the coronation stone. I was kicking my heels one day when I stopped to read the inscription - pretty mindblowing. Of course it might all just be a load of bollocks. Not my first encounter with unexpected Anglo-Saxon significance though. I used to cycle a lot and one of my favourite routes took me through a place called Dore, a nice but pretty boring suburb in Sheffield. It was a bit of a surprise to read that King Eanred of Northumbria submitted to King Egbert of Wessex there in 829, arguably bringing about the unification of England for the first time since the Romans left 400 years earlier. That deserves a statue I think.


  1. Well, all this time I been shopping in Kingston and I never knew that (about the record shop and caff I mean; Saxon Kings? Oh yeah).

  2. They are slightly off the beaten track - I think I only discovered the record shop when I was looking for the civic hall type place to take my driving theory test. Oh and yes, it's very much a caff.