Over the course of time, London has become the world’s cultural superhighway. From theatres in London’s West End to old breweries, pubs and cafés, the city boasts historical landmarks that have stood the test of time. Café ECAL awards London’s best historical café to The Jamaica Wine House, known to locals as “Jampot”.
London’s most historical cafe
Tucked in St Michael’s Alley, the Jamaica Wine House was the first coffee house in London. It first started serving the public in 1652, as English diarist Samuel Pepys was a noteworthy patron. Interestingly enough, the café is in the heart of the financial district and is listed as a Grade II public house in the ward of Cornhill.
Staying true to its historical value
While the Jamaica Wine House has no affiliation to the Caribbean, it stays true to its historic value and was restored with an emphasis on preserving historical tradition. The shell-style ceiling adds a characteristic charm as the upstairs features the tortoise legs poking out.
The wooden diving panels and the Todd’s cellar bar make it an interesting place to be in. It has become a local landmark and is an upgrade on Victoria architecture. Crowds enjoy spilling into the alleys during the summer break and drink al fresco.
A convoluted history
The café has an interesting yet controversial past, being linked to the sugar trade and the slave plantations along with it from the West Indies and Turkey. The interior is reminiscent of old London. A sign rests on the wall saying, “Here stood the first London Coffee house at the sign of the Pasquara Rosee’s Head 1652”.
London’s first freeman
Pasqura Rosee was the original owner and proprietor of London’s first coffee house. Born in Smyrne , Western Armenia, she was a manservant of a merchant named Daniel Edwards, a member of the Levant Company and trader of Turkish goods. They met encountered one another in Anatolia , as Rosee was brought back to Britain. Eventually, he became a freeman of the city after he was partnered with an apprentice.