Drawing inspiration from Edwin Heathcote's excellent book "London Caffs", followed by companion piece, "Classic Cafes" by Adrian Maddox, I decided to embark on a long-term photographic project to document London's cafes, particularly the ones most in danger of disappearing, the so-called "classic" cafe glorified in these books but neglected by the trendy masses; garish, greasy formica relics of the 50's and 60's which tenously continue their precarious existence, quietly defying the invasion of stylish chain coffee bars taking place on our high streets.
In the course of taking these photographs, I have come to appreciate the dilapidated ambience in some of these places, the air of melancholy and occasionally even abandonment pervading these cafes, the basic, utilitarian principle behind their furniture design. and of course, the homespun feel, an aura of "just making do" and of carrying on regardless. A few of the coffee chains and more upmarket cafes have been included in this portfolio for contrast and comparison.
All Images J.R Ong
No reproduction of these images allowed without prior authorisation.