Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

London Coffee Bars in the 50s and 60s

Written by Christopher • April 30th, 2009

Before Starbucks, Espresso House, Nero and other major coffeehouse chains invaded every city on the western hemisphere there were thousands of smaller coffee houses or coffee bars as they were referred to back then. London, England saw a major expansion of these quaint places in the early 1950s, right about the same time as the first Espresso machine was introduced there.

The clip is taken from the DVD Look At Life – Swinging London, which features sixteen kitschy and fascinating short films about London life in the 1950s and 1960s. Groovy!

A joyous celebration of 1960s London from the colourful ‘Look At Life’ series, produced by the Rank Organisation every week for screening in Odeon cinemas. Explore London’s street markets with Sid James, browse the boutiques of Carnaby Street and dine at the top of the Post Office Tower. Welcome to Swingin’ London, home of ‘scooter boys’ and ‘it’ girls! Features sixteen short films: Report on the River, Shopping by the Ton, Rising to High Office, Coffee Bars, In Gear, Change at the Tower, Fire Over London, Goodbye, Piccadilly, Market Place, Members Only, Top People, On the Meter, Eating High, Down London River,


A Swedish expatriate and founder of Ultra Swank. Chris loves showcasing his passion for mid-century design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and modernist architecture. He's also renowned as a connoisseur of easy-listening music from the 60s and 70s.

Find out more about Christopher

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