Friday, 25 January 2013

More Southport memories.......

It's official Sidney Allinson of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada is now the most prolific contributor to the Kardomah Blog with his second photograph of the Kardomah on Southport's Lord Street,

"Yes, the current Pizza Hut on Lord Street, Southport, is situated in the building where there was a popular Kardomah Cafe for many years. Happy memories for me long ago of when I would often enjoy a mid-morning coffee at that Kardomah".  

Thank you Sidney keep up the good work.......

Come on the North West..... Sidney found his photo's .... and he's 4000 miles away......! Why not have a rummage through those old photo's this weekend and send me your memories?  :-) 


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Southport memories

Hello, James.
Just now, I came across your Kardomah blog. Pleasant surprise,
as it brought back happy memories of when I used to quietly
sneak off work for a morning coffee break at the Kardomah on
Lord Street, Southport, Lancs., England.
I am sending along a 1921 photo of Lord Street that shows part
of the Kardomah there. It was still serving in 1951, when I
emigrated to Canada. ‘Wonder how long it stayed in business.
BTW, in several on-line lists of Kardomah cafes, not one ever
mentions the Southport location. Odd oversight.
However, my compliments to you for keeping some fond memories
Best Regards – Sidney Allinson,
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Kardomah History

The company that created the Kardomah brand began in Pudsey Street,Liverpool in 1844 as the Vey Brothers teadealers and grocers. In 1868 the business was acquired by the newly created Liverpool China and India Tea Company,and a series of brand names was created beginning with Mikado. The Kardomah brand of tea was first served at the Liverpool colonial exhibition of 1887,and the brand was later applied to a range of teas, coffees and coffee houses. The parent company was renamed to Kardomah Limited in 1938. The brand was acquired by the Forte Group in 1962, sold to Cadbury/Schweppes/Typhoo in 1971, and became part of Premier Brands some time between 1980 and 1997. The brand still exists, selling items such as instant coffee and coffee whitener.

With Thanks:

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Manchester Memories...........

Fascinated to read all the material you have gathered on this great institution. My own Kardomah memories are of two branches in Manchester. First, the large establishment at the Lewis’s end of Market Street – a three-storey place with 'nippies’ and change humming in vacuum tubes. A delicacy to be had there was herring roes on toast. But the branch of K in which I spent most time was at the posher end of the city, in St Anne’s Square. As soon as you went down the steps into the fragrant interior it felt like being abroad. as the cafe was patronised by groups of Manchester’s Levantine communities. You could hear Arabic spoken there, Greek and Yiddish. The most distinctive feature of this branch of K was a large fireplace over which was the motto ‘Die werkt met lust verlangt geen rust’ – Dutch, I’m fairly sure, meaning something like ‘He who enjoys his work does not long for leisure’. I wonder whether the Kardomah company ordered this fireplace, or whether it was a feature of the building before Kardomah took it over?

Best wishes

Ian Buckley

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Derby, Kardomah was the perfect place to watch world go by

STIRRING STUFF: Above, the mid-1960s photograph of the Kardomah that sparked Gladys Allcock's memories and, left, as it looked towards the end of its days.
By [spowlson]

IT was lovely to see a photograph of the old Kardomah restaurant in Bygones.
I went there regularly from the 1940s until its closure in the early 1980s.
It was beautiful inside. The walls were oak-panelled, with each panel having an art deco motif in its top centre.
One remains today on the staircase in the restaurant that replaced it.

There were square wooden tables that seated two or four and crisp, white tablecloths or, sometimes, blue gingham.
The meals were simple but delicious British fare – mixed grill, toasted teacakes, little sandwiches and cakes.

It was rather like the Lyons Corner Houses that used to be in London. Right to the end, I think the waitresses were in smart black and white uniforms.

We used to call them "nippies" – presumably because they nipped around the tables so quickly.

I remember service was certainly always quick.

Up until the 1950s, you could buy loose tea in the downstairs restaurant, while upstairs was a coffee bar, where you could buy fresh coffee, which was weighed and put into little linen sacks. The aroma of freshly-ground coffee beans was heavenly, especially as instant coffee was not widely available at that time.

The decor upstairs was slightly different – sort of Moorish in design. It was rather exotic, I thought.

The Kardomah was usually open late and, after the cinema had finished, we'd go in there for a late-night coffee.

There were also often quite a few journalists from the Derby Telegraph in there, as it was an ideal place to conduct interviews.

Situated as it was at the junction of the Cornmarket and St James's Street, with a police officer standing in the middle of the road directing traffic, it was the perfect place to watch the world go by.

I always tried to get a table near to the window.

At a time when there were few eating places in Derby, it was THE place to go. Whether it be breakfast, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea or late supper, the place was always full of people.

My friend had a job there washing up in the kitchens – no dishwashers in those days.

I was sad when its closure was announced and had my lunch there on its final day.

It was packed out. Somehow, egg and chips has never tasted quite the same again.

I suppose its successor was the Swiss Cottage, in the Audley Centre – still a good, old-fashioned British cafe.

If I am in London, I like to eat at Simpson's, on The Strand. Its decor is almost identical to the Kardomah and the atmosphere is similar.

Happy memories come flooding back when I am there.

Did you frequent the Kardomah or were you a regular at the other popular Derby haunt, the Boccacio Cafe, in the Market Place? We would love to read your memories, contact details below.

With Thanks

By [spowlson]

Friday, 4 March 2011

Milton Jones

The house of Milton Jones, uses Kardomah in it's theme song... Can anyone shed any light on Miltons conection with The Kardomah.

Click on the Title link to visit Miltons web site....

Monday, 29 November 2010

London for Food Lovers (Part 1) by Cynthia Clampitt

With thanks to Cynthia Clampitt

Just click on the Title to link to Cynthia’s Food Blog……

England has long been on the cutting edge of culinary consumption. It was in England in 1700 that milk was first added to chocolate. Earlier still, it was England that initiated Europe’s love affair with coffee. Though coffee was being drunk in Muslim countries as early as the 15th century, it was not until a Jewish merchant from Turkey opened a coffee house in Oxford in 1650 that coffee culture really caught hold in Europe. France was next, then Vienna, and soon coffee houses were all over Europe. In England, coffee houses became the gathering places of intellectuals, politicians, and anyone else who liked to talk. One great chain of coffee houses, Kardomah, became a fixture in the high streets of towns throughout the UK. Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and his circle of friends frequented these shops with such regularity that they were known as “the Kardomah boys.” I can remember stopping at a Kardomah coffee house when I first visited London at age 14. They served coffee with amber sugar crystals, rather than plain, white sugar. I was enchanted. Today, though Starbucks has now displaced the majority of the old Kardomah caf├ęs, there is still a lovely coffee culture in England.

Copyright Cynthia Clampitt ©2010
(This originally appeared in a different form in Hungry Magazine.)