Hamlet, finally

I love the Hamlet Cafe. It's a safe space, a business that flourishes when so many others close. It's a refuge on long cold days when you're tired and want cheering up; and it works just as well when you're happy already and want to share it. It's a Hornsey Road version of Peter Jones, because nothing bad could happen in either.*

It's also tricky to photograph. They keep the lights low, which is wise and good and helps with the atmosphere, but makes pictures come out blurry. So you'll have to trust me when I say that there's a painting of Shakespeare sitting in the cafe, watching over you:

Notice the lights
And that there's an Arsenal poster next to a copy of Delacroix's Gravedigger Scene:

(Photograph turned into fake painting to anonymise faces.)

Delacroix's Gravedigger Scene, original version

The food's decent and cheap (not an easy trick to pull off) but the real flabbergasting miracle is that  they get rich and poor to share a space. I've just been to a free NHS antenatal class where I'd bet on my not-yet-firstborn that the midwife was the worst paid person in the room, and even the hopeful adolescents at Platform know the split between life on the estates and life in the Victorian houses. Hamlet, God bless them, welcomes all. 

Hot chocolate
Go, if you haven't been already. Go again if you have.

*This applies to the cafe, not to the play. Many bad things happen in the play. Standing behind a curtain, for example, is quite unsafe.
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