Café Cairo: a Hub of Bohemian Revelry
Drink like an Egyptian at one of the greatest house-to-bar conversions in the Capital; a complete reinvention of the the capabilities of the themed restaurants London has been drawing tourists with for decades.
It’s been quite a while since the term ‘bohemian’ has been in fashion. Not only has any sense of youthful romanticism been allocated the disdained term ‘hipster’, but it seems as though the last generation of bohemians has either passed away or faded into the ether. However, there remains in hidden back alleys across the world occasional rare ‘bohemian’ establishments. Defined by an almost childlike fascination with the ‘exotic’, a laissez-faire attitude, overwhelming friendliness, and the occasional waft of marijuana smoke, ‘bohemian’ is the strive towards the ideal creative concept of ‘Bohemia’ manifest. Café Cairo is as such one of the last remaining truly bohemian locations and one of the most interesting restaurants in London.
The design is a magically renovated space that has been styled with an eclectic Moroccan theme. An abundance of unique rooms are arranged betwixt dramatic billows of fabric hanging between doorframes leading out to the shisha garden: a true escape from the world of London outside that both aids escapism in the winter and acts as a delightful midsummer night dream during the warmer months. Although it’s a great place to enjoy some baklava and tea during the day, Café Cairo really comes into its own at night, and is one of the few restaurants with entertainment London has that does not border upon the kitsh. The bar is a thriving hub filled with trendy young creative types and older hippies who always have an enviable anecdote about the ‘60s and ‘70s to tell. Music is also a focus with live music in the basement in the evening. A real strength of the drinks on offer is the array of hot beverages. For those who need to give their liver a break indulgent hot drinks are the way to go: the Eastern Hot Chocolate is a sonnet dedicated to vanilla and real melted chocolate, and the Cairo Milko is a phenomenal alternative consisting of thick vanilla with coconut, chopped roasted hazelnuts and sultanas. The Hot Toddys are some of the best in London and are served in comforting teapots to soothe your haggard bleeding throat from the night before. The bartenders have the feel of kids who wanted to have their gap year in Morocco but never quite made it there, which is no bad thing as the laid back vibe translates well to bar side conversations and passionate debates about the best way to mix a Dark n’ Stormy.
Don’t worry if you’ve had one too many; private coves are scattered about the venue, filled with an abundance of embroidered pillows and blankets if you need to take a midnight nap. Café Cairo has no pretence about not being a restaurant in the strictest sense, though they do offer free toast for all and encourage hungrier guests to bring in food from Red Spice, the Indian restaurant across the road. It’s no wonder that Cafe Cairo regularly tops lists of the best ‘unique restaurants London’, ‘funky restaurants London’, and ‘quirky restaurants London’, as it is by far one of the most unusual places to eat in London. Overall a night at Café Cairo guarantees an evening of whimsical entertainment that is sure to end up in your bar repertoire as a firm regular haunt.
Café Cairo’s address is 88 Landor Road, London, SW9 9PE
Opening hours: closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, open 6pm-2am all other days.