Inspirational Cafés for Poets


Go down to the arches, right onto the beach patio walk, near the West Pier. There are two really inspirational places here; THE FORTUNE OF WAR whichis actually a pub. It looks like the cabin of an old galleon inside, and there is a fanastic view of the sea through an arched window on the top level. Everyone wants to sit there. Mostly Indie music is played.

THE CUBA BAR is just two doors away. It has a cosy seating area outside with plenty of parasols. The food is delicious, French in style and prices vary from cheap to slightly expensive. The baguettes are heaven and very reasonable in price. Great for sitting and sipping cold Kronenbourg, staring out to sea and writing poems in relative peace. Mostly dance music is played.

There is a whole string of cafés alongside these two and leading right along to the Palace Pier.


BAR ISPANI There are two Bar Ispanis in the Whitgift Centre, one upstairs, one down. My favourite one is the one upstairs - waitress service rather than queing with a tray. Early in the morning I sometimes write poems in the upstairs one before starting work. There is a very kind waitress on the morning shift called Rita who chats to all the regulars.

CYBERZONE at 1 Dingwall Road, East Croydon is a helpful Cybercafe where I composed most of this web page. Avoid lunchtime or after 5.30 if you want peace and quiet for your emails and web explorations. Games available too.

MAMA AMALFI In George Street has a nice restaurant area with fascinating decor, which looks like a back alley in an Italian village. Pots and pans hang on the walls, and high mock-windows have washing hanging around them. Sometimes they have live opera performances. In the front is a nice informal café area where you can have small bar snacks, beer, wine and coffee. I have often had ideas for poems there.

LA LANTERNA Just out of the centre of East Croydon, next to Leon House (going in the direction of South Croydon), is a very nice restaurant with a quiet bar area where I sometimes like to go and sit after work. Excellent Italian food, good wine and friendly service - nice for any writer to go for a peaceful lunch out of the crowds of Croydon.


STOOP AND STOOP in the Leidseplein is a dark, mysterious licensed cafe with reasonable prices and wierd posters on the walls. Fantastic savoury pancakes can be had there. English is spoken.

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