Esoteric London

No. 1114: Carlos Place, W1

Posted in Eating places, Street Furniture by esotericlondon on June 5, 2014

©RogerDean_RED_0504 copy

Carlos Place, London, W1. Photo ©RogerDean 2014

Dinners and Diners – Lieut.-Col. Newnham-Davis, 1899:

When I had a large crop of curly hair on my head, and just enough down to pull on my upper lip, when a small allowance and a sub-lieutenant’s 5s. 3d. a day were all my wealth and I never entered the portals of Cox’s Bank without trembling, I used to go much to Gatti’s. If I had the felicity of entertaining a lady at a tête-a-tête dinner my ambition did not rise to the Café Royal—the Savoy and Princes’ Hall, and Willis’s and the rest did not exist at that time—where I should have fingered the money in my pocket and should have been desperately nervous when the waiter appeared with the bill. I went instead to Gatti’s. One could get a large amount of good food at a very easy tariff there, one knew exactly the price of everything from the card, and there was no smiling head waiter with a nest of plovers’ eggs at 7s. 6d. apiece, or a basket of strawberries for a guinea, to set one’s poverty against one’s gallantry. Asti spumante, too, is much cheaper than champagne, and I think most of the fair sex really like it better. Be that as it may, the financial question was the prominent one, and I sometimes found myself standing waiting at the Strand entrance alongside a gigantic porter and a huge hound. I made great friends with both the big man and the big dog, and, if after a quarter of an hour’s waiting, my fair guest did not appear the big man invariably consoled me with, “Do not despaire, saire. Perhaps the lady ‘as a dronken cabman.”

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