Friday, June 26, 2009
I came back from Kenya to England in 1945. The beach had rolls of barbed wire along it but the town was full of Australian and Canadian soldiers. I settled down to a new life and have always found the café a home from home. It is a part of my life and when I travel I like to know it is there to comfort me. This is something really English and I treasure it. It is odd to think it has been there all the years I have lived here. your father was always there and now it is you, David . keep up the good work, we love you and the staff. Congratulations!
Best wishes and thank you for being there Heather (Hacker) North Laine.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Fantastic to find the Pavilion Gardens Cafe and the Rock cakes still here and unchanged apart from the chairs.
I was an art student in 1970-71 and came every day the cafe was open.
I am so glad that the cafe has not been replaced by a trendy plastic version of what was my favourite place.
Long may it continue and long live the Rock Cakes!
p.s. lovely lunch too!
Reg the Regular
A customer since the year 2001, Reg is most certainly a regular to the cafe. Visiting us around two, or three times a day he enjoys sitting outside with a coffee and rock cafe whilst meeting friends, and talking with new people.
Through being a member of ‘Brighton Friends’, Reg enjoys supporting and attending various concerts in Brighton. With this passion for music, Reg is also a great fan of the Sunday Concerts that take place on the grass outside the Cafe in the summer, as well as the musicians such as Sam the Opera singing lady, and Micheal the guitarist who are also regular performers. When hearing Sam sing ‘The Dutch Song’ Reg is emotionally transported to a Cafe in Aachen, Germany (Just above the German border) . This Cafe, also situated outside, reminds him very much of the Pavilion Gardens Cafe due to the beautifully kept gardens, and lovely coffees and homemade cakes!
Reg thoroughly enjoys coming to the cafe everyday as he says that it holds a very happy atmosphere, with some very talented performers. He also described the Cafe as an ‘Oasis’, and without it the Pavilion gardens would be lost.
Royal Stories from Ray
Ray, 81, has been working around the Pavilion area for over 20 years and in this time has witnessed many changes; along with meeting pretty much all of the Royal Family. Having been a ‘gate man’ for years, Ray was able to recall numerous experiences…
For example when Lord Snowdon, married to Princess Margret at the time, turned up in his Volvo estate ready for a photography exhibition at the Dome. Due to not being previously warned, and the Prince not having not been escorted, Ray, surprised to suddenly be faced with the Lord, and had to soon apologise for refusing his entry through the gates when believing it a joke!
Another scenario revolving around the lack of police escort, was when Prince Edward was joined by John Cleese and other actors for the premiere of ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ at the old cinema in East Street. With a reception being held at The Pavilion the cars were to be parked in the grounds – warned of this and left alone, told to only open the gates when the police escort arrived, you can image the surprise that Ray had when a horn beeped, and the drivers side window slowly rolled down to reveal Prince Edward, having driven himself, sitting patiently, awaiting the opening of the gates!
Another encounter with the Royal Family was with the recent visit to The Royal Pavilion from the Queen when granting Brighton and Hove city status. Having been left on the door of the drawing room, Ray, having caught the sight of a stunning diamond broach ventured across the room to get a closer look. As he lent in to examine the gorgeous flower shaped broach Ray was taken aback by the large police woman behind him saying ‘You can look but you can’t touch’. He soon realised that the coat, proudly fashioning the broach, was in fact owned by the Queen herself!
The centre of the world
We have been living in Brighton for going on 8 years and have never found the centre. However the one place that feels like the centre of the world must surely be the Pavilion Gardens Cafe. It is the place to enjoy tea, to meet people, to read, to listen to music which is sometimes good and generally pass a very agreeable few hours. And theres the Pavilion itself to look at when its not covered in scaffolding.
Abba at the Brighton Dome
I remember Abba arriving for the Eurovision Song Contest in a old van. Following their triumph with Waterloo they left the Dome in a Rolls Royce, headed for London.
The rest, as they say, is history.