Victorian London - Food and Drink - Night Houses and Supper Rooms- the "Kitchen"

   The "Kitchen" was situated in St. Martin's Court, abutting on Castle Street, now known as Charing Cross Road; adjoining it was a famous a la mode house kept by two brothers, each of whom would turn the scale at thirty stone. It was explained by way of accounting for this extraordinary freak of nature that, by never leaving the establishement and inhaling the greasy fumes from night to morning, their pores were constantly imbibing from a thousand sources the oleaginous vapours that conduce to obesity; be that as it may, the entire front of an upper chamber had to be removed to allow of the usual formalities of Christian burial when one of the firm died, and it is doubtful if the place was not afterwards demolished.
    Here nightly were to be found actors since known to fame; journality such as Horace (Pony) Mayhew and his brother Gus, George Augustus Sala - then writing to measure - and a sprinkling of golden calves with theatrical proclivities. The refreshments, of course, left nothing to be desired on the score of satisfying, and a la mode gravy in pewter pots stimulated many a jaded reveller during the small hours of the morning.

'One of the Old Brigade' (Donald Shaw), London in the Sixties, 1908