cafe miscellania

  • from Kieran

    i used to work as a dispatch rider in london and went to hundreds of cafes and i've seen some of my old faves on your website. i wonder if you can help me find a real gem.... it was a small cafe run by an ex-boxer in his late 50's and had old b&w photos of boxers/fights/promo posters all over the place and i mean from skirting boards to ceilings. the food was good but the character of the place and the people there was awesome. all i can remember is that it was in it's own small building in the greenwich area on a desolate industrial estate. it'd be great to re-visit or see a review cheers and thanks for all that dedicated eating

  • from Clare

    It may be too far out of the west end for you, but I have a haven of greasy spooned-ness at the end of my road. YORK CAFE on Woolwich Road is clean, friendly and with proper chips. It is even licensed I think. Give it a go!

  • from Lambros

    TJ's Cafe in mortlake sw14 open seven days a weeks, big portions!! cheap. you should definatley visit this place won the "best greasy spoon" in london award 2003

  • from The Shropshire Cafe

    Russell how come we have not seen you at our cafe you are missing a treat. We serve the best all day breakfast in the North West We cater for everyone also we are in the process of taking on the title of the Ace Cafe of the Midlands Regards Lynn & Pete.

  • from Dave

    May I heartily recommend Sues Cafe in Gillingham Road, Gillingham, Kent (almost opposite the Arriva Bus Depot). Great food, great tea............very good prices for such good quality breakfasts and dinners.

  • from Abby

    The mess in Hackney is much nicer (and admittedly middle classer) than it's local counterparts (nice sausage rather than pig's bum). Some say it's better than Mario's... Alt for a good proper greasy spoon Dilari's on the corner of Mare Street is pretty good. Packed out every lunchtime and they have a non-smoking side of the room. Finally, if you live near Ealing and you've never been to Starvin' Marvins you're missing out. I was cautiously eating my breakfast with the pancake and maple syrup on one side and the bacon and eggs and hash brown on the other. Then absentmindedly I stabbed a bit of bacon onto the end of my syrupy pancaked-up fork… It's manna from lardarse heaven.

  • from Emma

    I love yr book and website. I have never commented on one or a blog before as I dont know how to. My son got this space for me. I am trying to get info on my favourite old cafe, The Blue Sky, by corner of Westbourne Grove and Chepstow Rd,London W2, between PAddington and Portobello Rd, which was my home from home from 1974-80.I lived in various squats and flats nearby and hung out with various groovy people in those days.... It closed down a few years ago. I wld love to get photos and the name/address of the lovely Irish waitress and Italian boss.... I have tried the Archives at Westminster City Library but no luck. I am doing a Ceramics degree as a v mature student and want to do an installation recreating a table at it, the light coming thru steamy bright plateglass windows, the smells, food, china,plastic menus, etc etc. I have assembled a load of stuff (tables, chairs etc),but they are not perfect. I wonder if you have any ideas on where I cld borrow/hire perfect stuff in one fell swoop, for a few days in early Jan 07? Most of all I want to get hold of a tape/CD of cafe background noises. Any ideas? Many thanks, Emma

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seeing the cafe again brought back many happy memories. I enjoyed everything about the Cafe, the place, the people and in those days - the sunshine!

The summary of the cafe and especially Mr Bertorelli was very accurate, and brought a smile to my face. Hope all goes well for you and my favourite hairdresser - Frank.

Best Wishes Joan.

mary Lymer

I have so many happy memories of you all in
the cafe. Ella how I used to love coming on holiday to my nan & granddad & uncle victor's because it ment I could pop downstairs to you for and Ice cream and a game on the slot machines. It was so good to come back and see you I just wish I could have turned the clock back 40 years and seen Mr Bertorelli and played the juke box. When I think of Newbiggin by the Sea you are always in my thoughts Thank you Ella for all my happy child hood memories of Newbiggin by the Sea. Mary Lymer

Robin Wilcox

I visited this place for the first time in summer 2005 with my mother, wife and baby daughter. My late Father's family lived in Newbiggin in the 1930's and this cafe was there then. Apparently my Grandfather suffered from an Ulcer picked up as a result of being gassed in WW1 and ice cream from Bertorelli's was the only thing that gave him relief when the pain got bad. I'd often heard my parents talk about this and it was nice to see the place. It was very friendly and characterful and 'the bairn' enjoyed her ice cream.

mr w little

we always pop in to your lovley little cafe on our way back from scotland where do you get all of the old fruit machines from? there great our kids love them.

Jack Hough

Happy days! I'm 60 now. I remember Mr Bertorelli, handing me a red turtle shaped frozen lollipop 55 years ago, with as much joy as I had receiving it. He had several metal molds of various animals for making frozen lollipops. The children would pick an animal. Great fun for kids. He was a good strong man, who I surmise had worked very hard for many years before buying that place. It would be interesting to know his history. Personally, I would love to buy that place and retire there. Especially with the fresh air and the nice pub nearby.


i always remember going to the cafe when i was little and on holiday in Newbiggin with my family and these days i take my husband and kids and its still as lovely as ever. Thanks for the memories

John Allett

Bertorellis Cafe, has'nt changed a bit since I grew up there from 1956, Wilkie Terrace has gone the Church school has gone and woodhorn colliery is now a museum, perhaps Bertorellis could just stay the way it is for another fifty years.

Norma McCallum

My grandparents Matthew and Elizabeth French lived in Newbiggin from about 1912 to the 60s - wonderful icecreams, summer holidays, ponies on the beach...
I visited a couple of years ago and
had the worst coffee in the world - only one kind -white Instant...
but it was wonderfulto be there!. I even found a tin of Black Bullets (sweets) that my grandad loved. So many memorie. The place should be preserved as a Historic Cafe - and why for goodness sake Cafe Riviera - it will always be Bertorelli's.


Its gone now, closed and awaiting new owners.
Everyone in Newbiggin is very sad.


I'm not sad, Ian.

Another tired old place awaits some new life and enthusiasm.

...and they microwaved their bacon sandwiches!


I think its done its time, but I wonder what comes in its place. I will hold off my opinion until then.

Rosie Miles

I remember saving up all my pennies for the numerous slot machines at Bertorelli's. Putting "orange juice" on the juke box and playing on the one-armed bandits. It was a huge part of my childhood and I'm so sad to hear that it's gone. To me, as a child on holiday, a trip to Bertorelli's was always fantastic after a hard day's rockpooling. I thought that it would be there forever.

Derek Seely

Bertorelli's cafe was as much a part of the village as the Lifeboat House, the Church Point,
The 'Store', the Horse Shoe Steps
and the Quay Wall. Let's hope that something of value is retained in Newbiggin, as without it, Newbiggin would just not be the same.


Does anyone know if this cafe is still for sale? thanks


Yes it is John. But Frank is not in a big hurry to sell as there is all of the development happening on the sea front. There is going to be a big jump in value over the next 12 months.


i sure hope that the cafe gets opened up again, it was a nice place to be and have a cuppa on a warm or windy day. The workemen are setting up their staying area at the minuiet and works will begin soon on the sea front starting in april for appox 28 weeks. walking past cafe rivera as it is now it looks empty and forboding. i hope that things in newbiggin pick up and hopefully the cafe is as it once was.


Remember this cafe well, it was the only place you could hear Black Sabbath on a duke box in 1970 (spent a fortune), also the cups of oxo with a cream cracker ..... those were the days!

Leon MacDonald

I have many happy memories of Newbiggin having been brought up in Ashington. I always used to call in to Berorelli's for a cup of oxo!
My last visit was in the late 1950's (having moved to Middlesex), but I have over the years returned to the north-east for visits to see my Aunt. I will have to call in for my first cup of oxo in 50 years the next time I'm up there.
Happy days, Leon MacDonald


Ive lived in the south for 45yrs but every time I returned to the area I was born in I never failed to go to the cafe for a taste of the best ice cream in the land.I am told from my cousin its now been sold.What a shame.

Derek Pilkington

from the late 60 s up untill the mid 70s Every saturday my dad would walk me along the beach to Bertorellis for a tall glass of cream soda topped with ice cream.I well remember the red chairs and the "flippie machines" I remember the man behind the counter would put a small stool in front of the machine so I could see over the top to play the machine .also remember that you could often hear a piano being played through the open upstairs windows.I seem to remember there was a smaller bertorellis shop at dixons corner as well .I havent been home for many years now but whenever i think of my family/hometown bertorellis allways springs to mind.this place should be written into the history of newbiggin.


IT'S BACK!!! Bertorelli's is open again! Oh, Joy! Oh, Rapture! Although I now live in Venice, Italy, Bertorelli's was such a major part of my Ashington/Lynemouth childhood. Indeed, Rosamund Bertorelli (married name Tyler) was my music teacher at Morpeth Grammar School!
Check out this link for the story and then go to the café and have a bacon sarnie!


Elizabeth -- probably the piano you remember was being played by Rosamund.

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