Advert for the Southwark Coffee Palace
Printer: Corey & Howard
Medium: Print on paper
From the mid-19th century onwards, there were as many as two or three coffee houses in the average English city street. When they first opened in London, coffee houses were used by gentlemen as a congenial environment to discuss politics and business. They only served non-alcoholic beverages, however, and thus gradually expanded their range of food. Décor was usually quite plain with lots of small tables. Newspapers and periodicals were provided for patrons to read while eating. This coffee house had a "Gentleman's lavatory" indoors, a rare amenity for such an establishment.