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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Patrick Turland

I might be wrong, but isn't this place owned by the family of Daniela Nardini ? She's the actress who played the character Anna, one of the lawyers in the TV series "This Life", shown at the end of the 90's.


Yep, it is owned by her family. Some friends of mine were born, brought up and live in Largs, and they said so - so it must be true :-)


blimey. the internet's a marvelous thing.


Home sweet home ... I've lived in Largs for 5 years, used to live about two minte's walk from Nardini's ... I was told however the family sold it ...

T McAulay

I also heard the family sold it, but I wondered if it's still as good as it used to be. Would you take a trip there from Motherwell just for the ice cream, still?

Martin Williams

Who is Russell Davies? This site is pure genius, outstanding humour and brilliantly written. We are all big fans at the North Wales Weekly News....

nick heath

Yes, Daniele Nardini has mentioned her catering family in several interviews

anne mackie

Sunday 3rd April, Largs
Green Shutters Cafe .It was my unfortunate experience to visit this cafe tonight. We were a party of four adults and were given a table meant for two ,right beside the main door that opens onto the prom and the sea. IT WAS FREEZING,with the door constantly opening and shutting our food got cold very quickly. the table was so small,the waitress had to remove our side plates to let us have enough room for the main course. The manager seemed to think he had done us a favour,as he commented on the fact that "in the summer this table is very popular".
I loved the Moorings restaurant and never ever had to complain of the service in there. I thought when I saw the Nardini name I would get the same service. Obviously the name means nothing

craig thomson

Why was the destruction of the only good thing left in Largs (Nardini's)allowed to happen? Is this yet another case of the lily-livered liberal town council being too weak and pathetic to say NO! Another Listed Building bites the dust, just like the Viking cinema,the Marine and Curling Hall,the Moorings, J.R.Simpsons toy shop,the underground toilets at the pier head, the fucked up scenario of the once beautiful thirties mainline railway station (ten years after the event) and now, finally, Nardini's!
It seems that Mr.Fox is in fact Mr. Wolf in sheeps clothing and you(THE LARGS CLOWN TOUNCIL!) have been shafted again! P.S. You will have to change all your tourist info, because it's no longer accurate now that the last bastion of life has finally been ripped out of this once beautiful little town. This falls nothing short of the worst possible form of vandalism, i.e. the act of vandalism is bad enough in itself, but the total apathy of the local council and planning committee is unforgivable. You disgust me,

Craig A. Thomson. (former resident)

Iain McCallum

Well said, Mr Thomson.

Iain McCallum
(former resident)

Iain McCallum

Well said, Mr Thomson.

Iain McCallum
(former resident)

Rena LeBlanc

Well maybe I should havea change ofplans. After browsing your Largs website,My husband and I had decided to use Largs as our holiday base to visit Scotland. After reading some of the comments above,the website apparently does not potray a "true picture" of Largs. I know i have been in contact with several tourist accomodations,(I am looking for self-catering} One replied saying they would get in touch asap,the other two have not replied. We are from Canada,and must say, we are contemplating our decision..Pity.

stuart goldby

how do i contact daniela nardini?
i once worked with her on a film set and we could have had some thing special going on!!!
please help this unsolved event progress


...Yeah, was going to comment on Daniela Nardini, but apparently "Nardini's is the muts nuts." She didn't say that btb.

Jealous, want to go there myself: three cheers for your review.


We are visiting Largs in 2006 and was looking forward to Nardini's. Oh well we will miss our ice cream. As we are staying in B & B can anyone recommend anywhere GOOD to get a really decent meal


Been home first time in over 43 yrs dreamed about LARGS-KILMARNOCK-TROON -AYR then i got there brought tears to my eyes the town planers in all these places must hang there heads in shame you have destroyed what was some of the most beuatiful biuldings and streets in AYRSHIRE OR SCOTLAND, SHAME ON YOU ALL



Rosemary Giovino

In reply to Craig Thomson's comments of July 2005;

Mr Thomson's question, "Why was the destruction of the only good thing left in Largs (Nardini's) allowed to happen?" confuses me, because the last time I looked, (and being a current resident means that I have the opportunity to do so on a daily basis), the premises still exist! Therefore, this particular listed building still stands!!

It seems a shame that Mr Thomson's comments would lead people to believe otherwise. Maybe, he thought that when it closed, it just disappeared, and, as he is a former resident, hasn't yet visited the town to establish the fact that this is not the case.

The way I see it, the owners, (Messrs Equi, Fox and Marini), haven't shafted anyone. They haven't applied for permission to destroy the listed building, on the contrary, they are planning to invest a considerable amount to restore it. (over and above what it must have cost to buy it, in the first place). As a former employee of Nardini's, I can only applaud their actions as it had fallen into a sorry state of disrepair. We should be grateful that they are willing to invest in it's future and haven't taken advantage of the original decision of Historic Scotland, (which would have tempted less committed owners to sell the site to a developer).

They have shown great commitment to their project. How easy would it have been for them to have stood back and allow Historic Scotland to have their way. But no, they have successfully appealed and Nardini's will be restored to it's former glory, in 2007.

Therefore, let's applaud the people in Largs, and other towns, who are actually doing something constructive for their towns. People like this take great financial and personal risks and should be applauded, not criticised.

Rosemary Giovino

Mandy Carroll

I have such wonderful childhood memories of Largs and Nardini's. MY grandparents retired to Largs back in 1968 and my sister and I (Scottish born) came to spend summers with them in Largs. I can remember so well the whole Nardini's experience. I am delighted to read that it is coming back to life in the summer of 2007. I will truly enjoy visiting Largs with my teenage sons and treating them to a sweetie or two at Nardini's!!!!

cress lucid J

glad to see the nardini clan still got the upper marketing hand over the castlvechi's. nardinis ice cream!! best in the world, i say, well done pete, aldo, fabby, franco, luigi, and all the pioneers of the mediterainian hospitality dynasty.

well its great to see where it all began for me,
and from their, i launched my whole future in music production, aka www.myspace,com/lucidscreamzmusic

catering and hospitality events organiser and marketing retail,are but few evolutions since nardini's, what a great aprenticship i had in the bakery..

im glad to see my old classmate daniella has done alright for herself too, i knew she would she was set apart for it and had it in her personality from eary school days...where as i had a slow and rough start, the class in life sure has worked its way through me though... till the next visit to bonnie largs , thanks for the start , coffee in a glass,
asta la vista

Linda Grainey

My family and I have been eating at the Green Shutters for many years. The consistency of the quality of the food, whether the 'Specials', 'High Tea', a bacon roll or a scone, is 'second - to - none.'The coffee is particularly good. Better than I have tasted in London, Paris or New York. Then, of course, there is the delicious ice cream, made to a secret, family recipe, to this day.
The setting and views are breathtaking, with few parallels
in the UK, or indeed anywhere else. As is the warmth and kindness of the proprietors and staff. The Nardini family continue to, very effectively, embrace the concept of the 'trattoria'. A family - run, local restaurant, serving traditional, local dishes and some very sophisticated ones, including a very good steak. Well worth a visit - you will want to come back.

Paul Borne

Well.....? Has Nardini's opened up again or are the plans to open early summer still in place? I had been regularly visiting Largs since camping there with the Belfast 92nd Boys' Brigade over 25 years ago but was disapointed last time to discover Nardini's windaes boarded up. I did however discover a few guys in their mid 20s who look just like me. The waitressed at Nardini's were very obliging if you know what I mean. Anyway since my last visit, I have no desire to return however if Nardini's is really to re-open, I'll once again be spending quite a few weekends , and quite a few bob too, in the vicinity. Here's hoping. PS It would be interesting to know anything about Margaret and Karyn who worked as waitresses at Nardini's during the summer of 1984.I hope they're both really well.


I was in Largs yesterday and was looking forward to some Nardini ice cream - but it's still shut

Alistair D

Here's the latest in this sorry tale:

Never could understand why I had to spend so much at Nardini's for what seemed like 'normal' ice-cream. Needless to say, I wasn't there too often!

gordon skinner

i remember a francesca nardini whom i met 50 years .i thoght she was lovely and wd love to talk to her for auld lang syne gordon

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