Greenwich Then and Now (7)
It’s a (very rare) postcard of the interior of the Pavillion Cafe in Greenwich Park, up by the Observatory – this one, in case your memory needs jogging:
And what a picture. I just love the chandelier – they really knew how to take afternoon tea in Edwardian times. The splendid clock on the wall, the chintz curtains, the grand cabinet of sugary goodies at the back courtesy of Mr J. Hendry (presumably the proprietor) the groovy gas lamps, the floral arrangements, the carved wooden/marble counter, the windsor chairs and the marble tables – it’s all just so – well, civillised.
John Bold tells me it was built between 1906-7 by Sir Henry Tanner of the Board of Works and cost a memorable £1066. It was originally open around the outside at the bottom, with a veranda, which would have looked much daintier – the colonnaded balcony was covered-in in 1967.
Here’s pretty much the same scene now:
It’s okayl – in fact, apart from their frankly steep prices for what you get – the fare is unexciting but does a job, but I still think it’s far too expensive even given its situation – I quite like the cafe now, with its double-decker mezzanine and bright lighting, along with the extra bit around the outside, where they filled in the balcony.
But I can’t help rather wishing I could step into my time machine, don my Edwardian tweed cloak and tricorn and enjoy afternoon tea from the pavillion’s true heyday…
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