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mark whitfield

i'm a photographer and i live in london, i'm a keen fan of proper cafes and proper good old fry ups.
i don't know much about the upkeep of a web-site, but i'd certainly be up for helping with any photography you need doing.
most of my work is in london and when i'm not working... well, it would be like mixing business with pleasure to go out and photograph anything you need for the site.
i shoot mainly interiors, food and portraits.


Hi Russell
How is this going to be different from what you've got already? Is it just London, or is it more of a website and less of a blog? Let me know more anyway. If I can help with any of the web stuff, I will.


Russell (and other enthusiasts)

I am a fond reader of your website ever since I knew it existed. I was informed by its presence by a friend of mine who learnt about my passion for the Great British greasy spoon. I believe the cafe is a true example of British culture and should be cherished.

Originally working a living in Brighton, I did many surveys of cafes with the intention, like you, to write a guidebook. I have since transferred my in interest to London, where I know live and work. I would still love to do such a thing. Perhaps I can offer a few suggestions...

A café appreciation society would be very good, but in order to ease the burden, perhaps you ought to have a few roaming reporters to assist you in your appraisal of cafes? Each reporter would have a quota of one or two write ups a month. In a write up I have always envisaged a five-item list in assessing a cafe:

1, the full english (or an ebcb in this case)
2, the bacon sandwich
3, the tea
4, the vegetarian breakfast
5, the special

Each item would be measured by value and flavour. Each write up would be accompanied by a short appraisal of staff, condiments, signage and the alike, such as you website. As for the organisation of a website, I a not an expert, but perhaps each story would be emailed to an address form where it could be posted. In order to fund such an exercise, perhaps each author, though doing it for the passion of cafes, could be charged a small membership fee (such as £10-20 annually) for this process to happen? I know I would happily part with said funds to be apart of a support movement for the café, especially when seeing my name credited for my few words of enthusiasm…

Well some constructive initial thoughts perhaps.

Charlie Singh


Great thoughts and offers everyone.

I'm slightly stumped as to what to do next.

Here are the thoughts rattling around my brain:

1. I first mentioned the Cafe Preservation Society idea on here a while back so I have some sense of responsibiltiy to the idea. But I don't really have any more spare time to do anything about it. The London Cafe Society came about because there wwas a small congrlomoration of people living in London who got together to try and create something. But, depsite everyone's efforts (notably Patrick's) it's not yet got very far.

I guess the idea now is to create a slightly more 'campaigning' site than this one, ideally it would have multiple authors, and ideally would be administered by someone other than me. The only way I know how to do that is as a blog. So I could set that up, but others would have to take responsibility for running it.

Exactly what would be on there, I'm not sure. But I'm sure it could include more, better photography. And updates on cafes threatened with closure etc. But then isn't that what Adrian's doing with Classic Cafes? Dunno.

2. I'd also like to make this site more 'open source' because I'm not adding cafes as fast as I should. So if anyone wants to be a correspondent I'd welcome more entries from people. Just email me.

The only rules are:

you have to order egg, bacon, chips and beans. And photograph it. And review it. You have to photograph the condiments. You have to do it all slightly surreptitiously.

Just rambling. Does this clarify or confuse?


Hi Russell and others,

Firstly, I owe you a great many thanks for the immeasurable joy that this site has brought me and, no doubt, many other caff lovers. It truly deserves the praise which is heaped upon it. Your comments and recommendations are invaluable in my regular searches for a fried breakfast at lunchtime.

Secondly, I wonder if I might be able to offer my help towards the furthering of the Cafe Preservation Society. I think it is an excellent idea which has broad appeal and the possibility of quickly becoming a veritable mine of information. At the very least, it would be fun to swop notes/recommendations with like-minded folk. I've been seriously wondering about starting a blog about caffs I know and love, but feel what I would be aiming for isn't sufficiently different from yours and Adrian's sites to warrant it. I think that a group-run CPS site would be a much more useful thing for the good of the country's caffs.

Perhaps, if a few people are still interested, it would be good to meet for a cup of tea (and fry-up) to discuss what each of us envisages...

With very best regards,
Rob Radcliffe.

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