Hungarian Csarda, London, 1958
Hungarian Csarda was one of London's oldest Hungarian restaurants. Graham Greene and Dorothy Glover visited it on the night of Wednesday 16 April 1941 as recounted by Rob Baker in The West End at War: Up the road from the York Minster Dorothy and Graham at last found somewhere open at 79 (sic) Dean Street. Despite the acute wartime shortage of paprika, the Hungarian Csarda, which bravely still had plate glass windows despite the Blitz, was still managing to serve a goulash. Albeit a rather bland and colourless version.
Although Csarda shook from some nearby bombs, the large windows stayed intact and in his autobiographical book Ways of Escape Greene wrote that “by ten it was obvious that this was a real blitz. Left at ten thirty and walked back to Gower Mews. Wished I had my steel helmet. Changed, and went out with D, who was fire-watching. Standing on the roof of a garage we saw the flares come slowly flowing down, dribbling their flames; they drift like great yellow peonies.”
The Csarda was still serving diners such as Richard Burton and Roger Moore well into the 1970s.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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