The Troubadour Cafe
Founded in 1954, the bohemian Troubadour Café has retained the lively ambience of 1950s coffee houses in London, despite spilling over upstairs with an art gallery in 2001 (necessary because the downstairs walls had become overcrowded with the work of the many artists who frequent the café). And it is a lot more besides, with its long-standing tradition for troubadours playing live music in the moody basement club, from Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan back in the day, to today’s sounds of indie, R&B, blues and funk. Eclectically and busily decorated with coffee pots, original enamel advertising signs and wooden church pews, the warren of dark rooms harbours a history of intellectual mindmelds – this is where the satirical magazine Private Eye was first produced and where Ban the Bomb meetings were held. The Troub is quietly proud of its café fare – acclaimed breakies, free-range omelettes, steaks and burgers. And now The Troub’s service to wandering minstrels is complete, with The Garret, a one-bedroom hotel on the top floor. With, of course, room service and a fully stocked bar.