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Goodbye Mr Chips

May 19, 2013

Two weeks in and there are so many stories that its hard to know where to begin.

What’s undoubted is that St Giles’ Café is an institution. Since 1937 it has been a home to “St Gilers”.  I am collecting an extraordinary collection of famous and infamous people who allegedly have been seen at the café over the years and will list some of them in due course.

This last week we’ve been visited by many of the more recent customers – those that knew and loved the café as a “greasy spoon”.  Two well written blog posts have reflected on the old and new and they are both well worth a read.


I thank both of them.


And I pay tribute to one old regular who came in on Wednesday and asked, in quite a demanding way for egg and chips and a mug of tea. I replied that we no longer served chips but that we could serve eggs, bacon, sausages etc.  His face was crestfallen and I quite expected him to walk out. Instead, he ordered our Oxford English and a pot of our own loose leaf blend of tea.

I stood behind my counter watching nervously as he ate his breakfast and supped his tea. He was facing away from me and looking out on to St Giles’ and so I was unable to see any of his expression.  After some time, and having consumed his breakfast he stood up and walked to the counter.  He said, very emphatically, “I’d like to tell you, that was one of the best breakfasts that I’ve ever had and the tea was extraordinary”




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  1. I feel it would weigh heavily on my conscience if I didn’t respond to your post: I’m the author of the blog ‘Pseudo-Dionysius’. I should add that I haven’t actually patronised your establishment (though a friend of mine), and you must be encouraged to see my post as a heavily ironic one — and in no way wishing ill upon your new business. Best of luck!

    • Thank you. I always saw the post as a heavily ironic one ( and so well written might I add) and indicative of what St Giles Café means and has meant to so many people over the years. The post gave us all a really good laugh.

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