One of my favourite venues in London, the Troubadour is a cafe-bar-restaurant-club extraordinaire you have to visit at least once. With pots, pans and all sorts of trinkets hanging from the beam-lined ceilings, this is a fantastical hubbub as magical as Alice’s Wonderland.
Music, you say?
Located at 263-267 Old Brompton Road and established in 1954, The Troubadour is one of the last remaining coffee houses of its era in London, with a club room in the cellar which has hosted the likes of Bob Dylan, Elton John, Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones. Steeped in artistry befitting its name (a Troubadour was a lyric poet or performer from the High Middle Ages), it continues to host live music and poetry, mainly by performers who write their own material. The performance area downstairs remains an intimate space for 120, with a cosy underground jazz club feel, dance floor and cocktails served until the early hours.
What’s the cafe like?
The ground-floor cafe is a spell-binding affair which caters for every taste bud and budget. From The Brompton Burger and chunky chips to ‘The Troubadour Trio’ – a scrumptious spread of hummus, taramasalata and pumpkin dip with pitta bread and crudités – you will not be disappointed. The jungular garden nestled at the rear of the cafe is but another feature to enjoy on a warm summer’s eve.
What’s the Wine Shop like?
The variety doesn’t stop there, with the neighbouring Wine Shop providing a calm alternative to the fast pace of the cafe and club next door. Available for private parties, it was also awarded the ‘Best Argentinian Wine Retailer of the Year’ in 2010. Wine-tasting evenings and Troubadour Feasts are superbly hedonistic events involving a several course dinner based on a chosen region or country in return for paying a fixed fee and the promise of meeting new and interesting people (The Troubadour tends to attract engaging sorts).
Do they do private parties?
If that’s not enough for you, The Troubadour Gallery is an elegant room perfect for use as a private party room for drinks for up to 70 guests or a buffet lunch or supper for up to 50 people. Located on the first floor, it is designed in classical fashion with wooden floors, large windows and high ceilings.
Not sure it’s your bag?
If you’re an artistic soul who enjoys the eclectic, visit The Troubadour. It’s one of a kind. And if you’re a touch nutty, wear a hat on a Tuesday and you’ll get a free dessert!
265 Old Brompton Rd, London SW5 9JA
020 7370 1434
Music Gigs: £5 for advance online bookings / £7 on the door
Poetry Evenings: Mondays Fortnightly