Fuck Time Out is a series profiling the caf’s, barber shops, family-owned Italian’s and old man pubs that, against the odds, are standing strong against the real-estate tycoons of London.
Instead of reviewing cat cafe’s, guinea-pig massage parlours and self-catered cereal restaurants, this series recommends and reviews good, solid institutions where we should spend our money so they don’t get sold and become a Pret. First up:
The Double Bubble Cafe in Earlsfield
I remember the first time I heard the phrase “shit hole.” It was 1995 and we were moving from our 2-bed house in Battersea to a 3-bed house in Earlsfield. It was my uncle who said it – he said “Earlsfield? Bit of a shit hole.” Not anymore let me tell you. We’ve got a Sainsbury’s Local, a Caffe Nero and a Carluccio’s.
But the Double Bubble Cafe, with it’s all-caps emerald green writing, has been there since the beginning. I love The Double Bubble Cafe more than a normal amount – maybe more than the other London institutions that have closed or been sold recently. More than Passing Clouds in Dalston, more than The Dundee Arms on Bethnal Green Road, more than the dusty old Earlsfield Bookshop with the ancient man who sat there smoking all day long which was sold to make room for more ticket machines at Earlsfield station.
I love The Double Bubble Cafe because it’s been on the high street since Earlsfield was a shit hole. It’s name originates from Bubble and Squeak which is cockney for Greek which is just fantastic. The owners are a Grecian power-couple who have kept the same loud green sign for over 20 years. They know their full customer base by name, and chat with them as they sit outside on hot days eating their full english on the same metal chair sets they’ve had since the ‘90s.
The food is excellent and inexpensive. A full-english is under £5 still and the ingredients are all bang on. The cafe sits defiantly opposite Caffe Nero and Carluccio’s, who’s breakfasts are both shit.
So next time you’re in Earlsfield, SW18, sack off Mi Amore (a mummy coffee shop where you can’t move for the prams), walk past Mel’s Diner (“Vintage Beats & Breakfast” – wtf does that even mean?) and head straight to The Double Bubble Cafe – there you’ll find the Earlsfield of 1995. Say Alice sent you! They’ll know who you mean.