Oval Partnership Briefing Note
The neighbourhood is well served by both cafes and restaurants catering for a wide range of tastes. Some local delicatessens also provide a cafe service.
The first London coffee house dates from 1652 at Jamaica Wine House, St Michael's Alley, Cornhill. The term café is from the french for coffee but was not used until much later. In 1933, the first sandwich bar opened. Snack bars soon became widespread and a fast-food culture began to be established. (fast-food is actually a feature of urban development and can be dated back into antiquity typically in the form of street vendors selling ready cooked food). In 1945/6, the first cappucino was developed named after the Cappucin Monks. The ingredients were all in place for the modern cafe which has continued to re-invent itself over the years.
The word ‘Restaurant’ is from the french meaning ‘food that restores’. In the 16th Century it was used by Clermont Marot to describe a broth but it wasn’t until 1765 that it started to be used in the modern sense.