Cafe in the Crypt from Weird Wednesday

It looks like a perfectly reasonable place to take tea, in fact it appears quite cozy and inviting but behind the ambiance is a deep, dark secret. Very dark. Welcome to the Cafe in the Crypt. Yeah, you read that right, this cafe is located in what was once a crypt at the bottom of the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, which isn’t in a field as it goes, but across from the National Gallery in London.

Like many churches years ago, St. Martin’s once had a cemetery surrounding it but as London grew, the dead bodies were moved to underneath the church. Coffins were slid down the stairs and stacked one atop another. Mmmm, appetizing! So where diners sit now was once the resting place for dozens of dead people. No clue where they went but the cafe has done pretty well for itself, being named London’s Cafe of the Year in 2003 by Les Routiers. I was considering putting this stop on my London itinerary for next year but have read mixed reviews online. Some complain about the service and food quality, while others are more positive. If anyone has been to the Cafe and would like to add their two pence, please do.

Comments

  1. Duchess of Tea says

    Melissa darling, I have never been there for tea or otherwise, I suppose it has some interest having been a resting place and all, I, however; would rather stay away from such creepy place, my suggestion to you darling is stay away. Take your tea at a more cheerful place.

    Duchess xx

  2. Brit Fancy says

    Rick Steves raves about it in his book, from what I recall. He considers it fun, cozy, and cheap eats, and apparently there are free/cheap concerts there in the summertime (I have not verified this myself, but you could look into it). It does sound super creepy, but this photo creeps me out all the more. I have heard on TripAdvisor that there is a lot of purse snatchings and the loss of personal property, but that seems to be somewhat common in a lot of eating establishments in London (going by the posted warnings I saw in such places as the cafe at the British Library). I might decide to go there this year, if I can work up the nerve!

  3. Denise ~ Charleston, South Carolina. says

    I've been there loads of times. It's not creepy at all – just busy! Very affordable chow for Central London. Yes, there are loads of concerts at St. Martin's. Some of the noontime ones are free; evening concerts are very affordable. I think they have a concert schedule on the church website. Purse snatching, etc., not unheard of in *most* places in London, as wel know. Just use common sense.

  4. Toothfairynotes says

    I'm a bit late on this, but hmmm I was pretty close huh! Now I know this, I will not ever go there for coffee! brrrrr

    *loves*

  5. Farmgirl Paints says

    I like this saying. I could see using it as a helpful mantra "keep calm and carry on", "keep calm and carry one".

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Two years after launching my blog, I can honestly say that pictured below is the greatest reward I have received for all this time and effort. Because of Smitten by Britain, I have met some fantastic people who have added another dimension to my life. One day this summer, I got to meet a few of these people, face to face in London, at a place I introduced you to last year: Cafe in the Crypt. [...]